Statesman and 35th U.S. president (1961-63), born

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Statesman and 35th U.S. president (1961-63), born on May 29, 1917, in Brookline,
Massachusetts; the second of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's nine children.


Kennedy was the youngest man elected president of the United States, dying from an
assassin's bullet after serving less than one term in office.




Kennedy attended private elementary schools, including a year at Canterbury School in New
Milford, Connecticut, and four years at Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut. He
spent the summer of 1935 studying at the London School of Economics. He entered Princeton
University but was forced to leave during his freshman year because of an attack of
jaundice. In the fall of 1936 he enrolled at Harvard University, graduating cum laude in
June 1940. During World War II, he commanded a PT (torpedo) boat in the Pacific. When the
boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer in August 1943, Kennedy, despite serious
injuries, led the surviving crew through miles of perilous waters to safety.




After the war, Kennedy worked for several months in 1945 as a reporter for the Hearst
newspapers, covering a conference in San Francisco that established the United Nations. In
1947, he became a Democratic Congressman from Boston, and in 1952, successfully campaigned
against Henry Cabot Lodge in Massachusetts to advance to the Senate. He married Jacqueline
Bouvier on September 12, 1953, and the couple had two children, Caroline Bouvier (born
1957) and John Fitzgerald (born 1960). Another son, Patrick Bouvier, died shortly after
birth in 1963.




While recuperating from back surgery, Kennedy wrote Profiles in Courage (1956), a study of
courageous political acts by eight United States senators, which won a Pulitzer Prize.
Kennedy campaigned for and nearly gained the Democratic nomination for vice president in
1956, and four years later was a first-ballot nominee for president. A young, handsome and
personable candidate with a beautiful wife, Kennedy enjoyed the friendship and support of
many high-profile Hollywood celebrities, who helped raise money for his campaign. Kennedy
engaged in a series of television debates with the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon,
which were seen by millions. After winning the presidency in 1960 by a narrow margin,
Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States, the youngest president ever
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