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John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

Kennedy, John F.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29th, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, a bank president, and Rose Fitzgerald. John Kennedy attended Canterbury School and Choate Boarding School, both in Connecticut. After graduating from Choate in 1936, Kennedy went to Harvard University. His senior thesis entitled Why England Slept (about why Great Britain was not prepared for war) was later published in novel form. Kennedy graduated cum laude from Harvard in 1940 and promptly entered the Navy where he was made a Lieutenant and commander of a Patrol Torpedo Boat (PT-109).

When Kennedy returned from the War, he became a Democratic Congressman in 1947 and served until 1953 when he was elected to the Senate (he served until 1961). He married Jacqueline Bouvier on September 12th, 1953. Kennedy wrote Profiles in Courage in 1956, an account of courageous political acts by eight United States Senators. It won the Pulitzer Prize for history.

In 1960, Kennedy became the youngest person ever to be elected to the office of President of the United States. He was the thirty-fifth President and the first of Roman Catholic faith. He had only been in office for a little more than 1,000 days when he was shot and killed by an assassin on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. He is remembered today as a man of courage, intellect, and honor.

Famous quotations by John F. Kennedy:

  • Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

  • Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.

  • There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

  • We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others.

  • And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.

  • We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.

  • Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

  • Suggested sites for John F. Kennedy:

    Encyclopedia article about John F. Kennedy
    Texts by Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address
    Literally the address given at the beginning of John F. Kennedy's first term as President of the United States.

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