Background

Kennedy with his family Source: An Unfinished Life

Kennedy with his family
Source: An Unfinished Life

On May 29, 1917 John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline Massachusetts. The Kennedy’s were considered one of the richest families of that time. His childhood was filled with good and bad memories. JFK had endured many childhood illnesses. When he was about two and a half years old, he almost died from scarlet fever. Throughout his childhood he suffered from bronchitis, chicken pox, German measles, and many more that left him bedridden for weeks at a time. He attended a boarding school in Connecticut, known as the Choate School. During his time at Choate, Kennedy was in and out of the Mayo Clinic. He did not let his medical issues come in the way of him finishing school. After graduating from Choate, JFK attended Harvard University. His upbringing made him the way that he was. His sister Rosemary was mentally disabled. Kennedy felt compassion towards her which made him feel compassionate towards everything. He was able to put himself in anybody’s shoes and understand how they were feeling. Another aspect of his upbringing that made him sympathetic towards others, was his mother Rose. Rose made sure that none of the children complained about anything. She thought they had it all and there was no reason for complaints. Through all his experiences during childhood and young adulthood, he was the person that the Americans saw and loved. He let nothing stop him and made sure that he did not complain about what he had to go through.

Young Kennedy in his Navy uniform. Source: http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/Life-of-John-F-Kennedy.aspx?p=3

Young Kennedy in his Navy uniform.
Source: JFK Library & Museum

 

In 1940, John F. Kennedy was appointed to the US Army. He knew that he was in shape and ready to go. Unfortunately, he failed his medical tests. Kennedy could get out of serving, but he wanted to. With the help of his father, a few strings were pulled and JFK received the okay to serve in the Navy. He was stationed not far from Washington D.C. Kennedy was able to have a life and a job. He became known for his wild behaviors and his father had him transferred. Kennedy was done with the paperwork job and was able to be a commander on a patrol boat. On August 2, 1943, Kennedy’s boat was hit by a Japanese warship and was spilt in half. This left two of Kennedy’s crew members dead. Kennedy was able to find a crew member and save him.  During this process he injured his back. When he returned, he received the Marine Corps Medal. After serving his country, Kennedy tried his hand in at the political world. In 1946, Kennedy ran and won for Congress, representing Massachusetts.  He served 3 terms in the House of Representatives and then was elected into the US Senate.

“JFK’s back problems were exacerbated by turning over a shovelful of dirt during a visit to Canada in May 1961. He is seen here on crutches, June 16, 1961.” Source: An Unfinished Life

“JFK’s back problems were exacerbated by turning over a shovelful of dirt during a visit to Canada in May 1961. He is seen here on crutches, June 16, 1961.” Source: An Unfinished Life

During Kennedy’s time as senator, he married Jacqueline Bouvier at the age of twenty three. Throughout his entire political career, he felt the effects of medical issues that never went away. He was determined to fight for what he believed in. While being senator, the Kennedy’s welcomed their first child Caroline. Kennedy became very popular throughout America. On July 13, 1960, John F. Kennedy was chosen as the Democratic party’s pick for president. Kennedy defeated Nixon by a very close race. He was the youngest person to become president and the first catholic. Right before he became president, the Kennedy’s welcomed their second child John Junior. JFK made a strong impact on America but was assassinated before he got the chance to put his ideas in play.

Portrait of American President John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963) in the White House during the filming a televised interview entitled 'After Two Years: A Conversation with the President,' Washington DC, December 16, 1962. The interview was broadcast the following night. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

Portrait of  John F. Kennedy in the White House during the filming a televised interview entitled ‘After Two Years: A Conversation with the President,’ Washington DC, December 16, 1962.  Source: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images