John F. Kennedy
President of the United States from 1961 to 1963 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. He was the youngest person to assume the presidency by election and the youngest president at the end of his tenure. Kennedy served at the climax of the Cold War, and the majority of his foreign policy concerned relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. A Democrat, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in both houses of the U.S. Congress prior to his presidency.
John F. Kennedy
|35th President of the United States|
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
|Vice President||Lyndon B. Johnson|
|Preceded by||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|Succeeded by||Lyndon B. Johnson|
|United States Senator|
January 3, 1953 – December 22, 1960
|Preceded by||Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Benjamin A. Smith II|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Massachusetts's 11th district
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1953
|Preceded by||James Michael Curley|
|Succeeded by||Tip O'Neill|
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
(1917-05-29)May 29, 1917
Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||November 22, 1963(1963-11-22) (aged 46)|
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Manner of death||Assassination|
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Education||Harvard University (AB)|
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1941–1945|
Born into the prominent Kennedy family in Brookline, Massachusetts, Kennedy graduated from Harvard University in 1940 before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater. Kennedy's survival following the sinking of PT-109 and his rescue of his fellow sailors made him a war hero and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, but left him with serious injuries. After a brief stint in journalism, Kennedy represented a working-class Boston district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953. He was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate and served as the junior senator for Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960. While in the Senate, Kennedy published his book, Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize. Kennedy ran in the 1960 presidential election. His campaign gained momentum after the first televised presidential debates in American history, and he was elected president, narrowly defeating Republican opponent Richard Nixon, who was the incumbent vice president. He was the first Catholic elected president.
Kennedy's administration included high tensions with communist states in the Cold War. He increased the number of American military advisors in South Vietnam. He authorized numerous operations to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, including the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961. The following October, U.S. spy planes discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba; the resulting period of tensions, termed the Cuban Missile Crisis, nearly resulted in the breakout of a global thermonuclear conflict. He also signed the first nuclear weapons treaty in October 1963. Kennedy presided over the establishment of the Peace Corps, Alliance for Progress with Latin America, and the continuation of the Apollo program with the goal of landing a man on the Moon. He also supported the civil rights movement but was only somewhat successful in passing his New Frontier domestic policies.
On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. His vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson, assumed the presidency upon Kennedy's death. Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested for the assassination, but he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby two days later. The FBI and the Warren Commission both concluded Oswald had acted alone, but conspiracy theories about the assassination still persist. After Kennedy's death, Congress enacted many of his proposals, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Revenue Act of 1964. Kennedy ranks highly in polls of U.S. presidents with historians and the general public. His personal life has also been the focus of considerable sustained interest following public revelations in the 1970s of his chronic health ailments and extramarital affairs. Kennedy is the most recent U.S. president to have died in office.