The Life and Death of President John F. Kennedy

President Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, in Brooklin, Massachusetts, a
suburb of Boston. The other eight Kennedy children were Joseph, Jr. Rosemary Kathleen
Eunice Patricia Robert F. Jean Edward M. "Ted" .
As the Kennedy children grew up, their parents encouraged them to develop their own
talents and interests. Loyalty to each other was important to the Kennedys. But the
brothers and sisters also developed a strong competitive spirit. Jack, as his family called
him, and Joe, his older brother, were especially strong rivals. Jack was quiet and often shy,
but he held his own in fights with his older brother. The boys enjoyed playing touch
John Kennedy attended elementary schools in Brookline and Riverdale. In 1930,
when he was 13 years old, his father sent him to the Canterbury School in New Milford,
Conn. The next year, he transferred to Choate Academy in Wallingford, Conn. Kennedy
was graduated from Choate in 1935 at the age of 18. His classmates voted him "most
likely to succeed."
Kennedy wrote a thesis for his senior thesis at Harvard. The thesis was why Britain
had not been ready for war. The book that resulted from this was titled Why England
Slept. This book became a best-seller. Kennedy graduated cum laude in 1940. He then
enrolled in the Stanford University graduate business school, but dropped out six months
later. Kennedy enlisted as a seaman in the U.S. Navy after taking a trip through South
For a few months, Kennedy was stationed in Washington, D.C. He applied for sea
duty following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Kennedy was
assigned to a PT boat squadron late in 1942. After learning to command one of the small
craft, he was commissioned as an ensign.
Shortly after midnight on August 2, 1943, a Japanese destroyer cut Kennedy's PT
boat in two. His boat was assigned to patrol duty off the Soloman Islands in the South
Pacific. Two of the crew were killed and Kennedy and 10 other men clung all night to the
wreckage of their boat. The next morning, Kennedy ordered his men to swim to a nearby
island. Despite himself being injured (back), he spent five hours towing one of the disabled
crewmen to shore. Over the period of the next four days, Kennedy was in the water
searching for help. On the fifth day, he persuaded friendly natives on Cross Island to go
for help. On August 7th, Kennedy's crew was rescued. For heroism and leadership,
Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. He was also awarded the Purple
Heart for being wounded in combat.
In December 1943, the navy returned Lieutenant Kennedy to the United States.
His back was giving him pain and he was suffering from malaria. Kennedy spent the rest of
his naval service as an instructor and in various military hospitals. He then had a short
career as a newspaper reporter.
John's family thought that he would become a writer or a teacher. His brother Joe
was going to be the family politician. Joe's death in 1944 changed his future. Later, as a
U.S. Senator, Kennedy said: "Just as I went into politics because Joe died, if anything
happens to me tomorrow, my brother Bobby would run for my seat in the Senate. And if
Bobby died, Teddy would take over for him."
Kennedy began his political career in 1946. He ran for the U.S. House of
Representatives. He opposed nine others for nomination in the solidly Democratic 11th
Congressional District of Massachusetts. He won the nomination and went on to easily
defeat his Republican opponent.
In 1946, Kennedy's brothers and sisters helped him win the nomination in which he
was campaigning. His mother also helped him. The women organised teas in the homes of
voters. But his father did not take an active part in Kennedy's political campaigns. His
isolationism before World War II, his conservatism, and his wealth made him a
controveersial figure.
In January 1947, Kennedy took his seat in Congress. Later that year, he became
seriously ill, and doctors discovered that he was suffering from a malfunction of the
adrenal glands. To control the ailment, he had to take medicine daily for the rest of his life.
In Congress, Kennedy voted for most of the social welfare programs of President
Harry S. Truman. He was re-elected to the House in 1948 and also 1950.
In April 1952, Kennedy announced that he would oppose Republican Senator
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Lodge, a popular and experienced legislator,