John F. Kennedy

Brett M. McVean

Growing Up

JFK was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917. His father, Joe, was a businessman and politician. His mother, Rose, was a philanthropist and socialite. JFK had an holder brother, Joe Jr. He also had a younger brother, Bobby. He also had 4 younger sisters, Rose, Kathleen, Patricia, and Jean. In the fourth grade Jack and his family moved to Riverdale, Bronx, New York City. Two years later they moved to Bronxville, New York where Jack became a member of Scout Troop 2. The Kennedy family spent their summers in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, and they spent their Christmas and Easter holidays at they house in Palm Beach, Florida. Jack had many life-threatening illness throughout his life, starting with appendectomy. He was withdrawn from the 8th grade and recuperated at home. He went to The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut for 9-12th grade. While he was at Choate he was diagnosed with colitis in 1934 and was hospitalized at Yale-New Haven Hospital. At Choate his older brother, Joe, was a stud football player and a leading student and Jack fell in his shadow. He often compensated for this by stirring up trouble and mischief. When he graduated he was voted "most likely to succeed". In 1936 Jack enrolled at Harvard College. In his Junior year Jack made the Dean's List at Harvard, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in international affairs in 1940. Then, he enrolled in classes at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


JFK was disqualified from the Army in September 1941 due to chronic lower back problems, he then went on to join the U.S. Navy. He earned the rank of lieutenant and commanded a patrol torpedo boat. His boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer and Kennedy and his men had to swim many hours to get to a small island, then swim even further to get to another island to be rescued. JFK towed one of his crew members with a life jacket strap clenched between his teeth for the whole journey. This act of heroic conduct earned him the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. Also during the war he received the Purple Heart, Defensive Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, and the World War II Victory Medal. He was released from active duty in late 1944. Kennedy became a congressman in 1946 beating his republican opponent by a huge margin, he went on to serve that duty for six years. In 1952 Kennedy beat out the Republican opponent Henry Cabot Lodge II for the U.S. Senate Seat. Over the next two years he had multiple spinal operations and was often times absent from the Senate. In 1958 he was re-elected for his second term at Senate, as usual he dominated over his republican opponent.

President of the United States of America

January 2, 1960 was the day the Kennedy initiated his campaign for president in the Democratic Party. He had to beat out many competitors during his journey. Many small ones, and many big ones. After getting LBJ on his presidency team to help him in the south he was easily able to swoop over Richard Nixon winning 303 votes to Nixon's shy 219. Winning was very difficult for JFK because of his strong catholic beliefs. Many Americans believed that he would focus the country around the catholic church and it would be like they had the Pope in office. Also he struggled with southern states because of his push for civil rights. Kennedy blew Nixon out of the water on the television though and that may be what have got him the win. He was the youngest president ever elected. Kennedy was assassinated while still in office on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was later killed by Jack Ruby before he could be indicted or even tried. JFK died younger than any president has before. There is a lot of controversy and conspiracy around his JFK's death.

Huge Achievements as President

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis - The Soviet Union had placed nuclear missile sites in Cuba for a short range fire to America. This was potentially deadly and not an easy problem to solve. Kennedy ordered for every U.S.S.R ship going to and from Cuba must be inspected by the US Navy. This eventually led to Khrushchev removing the missile site.
  • One of the first things JFK did was create the Peace Corps. This organization helps underdeveloped nations with education, farming, healthcare, and construction. Since Kennedy created the Peace Corps they have served in 139 countries
  • Space Race - Kennedy was dedicated to defeating the Soviet Union to the moon in order to assert dominance and advancement. He stated that we would safely land a man on the moon and return him back to Earth by the end of the decade, and we did. This was a big win for America over the Soviets.

Failures by Kennedy

  • Cuba and the Bay of Pigs Invasion - Kennedy put together 1,500 U.S.-trained Cubans in an attempt to overthrow the dictator of Cuba, Fidel Castro. The men were dropped off on the island with no US air supports and were quickly killed or taken prisoner. Kennedy was forced into giving them $53 million worth of food and medicine in order to release the 1,189 survivors who had been held there for 20 months.
  • JFK pushed and pushed for lower taxes even though people advised him not to because it would mean we also need to lessen our budget. People believed he was doing it to get reelected and not for the good of the country, but he died before anything could be put into place
  • One big problem with Kennedy was that he was Irish-Catholic, and many people were very scared they were about to get a Pope for president if they voted for him.


John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of the most popular presidents to ever live. He was extremely popular considering the fact that he was the first president that was a heartthrob for the ladies. He was young, handsome, and good with his words. He was loved throughout the country and everybody loved watching him on TV. A week after he was assassinated a poll of many Americans was taken and 60% of them said they cried in the days between the assassination and his funeral. He has a museum in Dallas dedicated completely to him and reliving his life as well as assassination. He is one of the most famous American Presidents in history.

A Time for Greatness

Cabinet Members

  • Vice President - Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Secretary of State - Dean Rusk
  • Secretary of the Treasury - C. Douglas Dillon
  • Secretary of Defense - Robert McNamara
  • Attorney General - Robert F. Kennedy
  • Postmaster General - J. Edward Day
  • Secretary of the Interior - Stewart Udall
  • Secretary of Agriculture - Orville Freeman
  • Secretary of Commerce - Luther H. Hodges
  • Secretary of Labor - Arthur Goldberg (1961-1962) W. Willard Wirtz (1962-1963)
  • Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare - Abraham A. Ribicoff (1961-1962) Anthony J. Celebrezze (1962-1963)

JFK Leading Today

I think JFK would strive as the President of the United States today. I think he would figure out a new way to help us get out of this economy struggle we're in. I think he would also know exactly how to handle the war overseas. In his short two years of presidency he managed to get America on its way to the moon, stop American from getting into nuclear war more than once, and worked to lower income taxes in order to lower unemployment rate. Not to mention, if JFK was president today, there's nearly no possible way for him to get assassinated.