John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by the initials JFK and Jack, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Kennedy served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his work as president dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. A Democrat, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.
Kennedy was born into a wealthy, political family in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard University in 1940, before joining the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his service. After the war, Kennedy represented the 11th congressional district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953. He was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate and served as the junior Senator from Massachusetts from 1953 to 1960. While in the Senate, Kennedy published his book Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Prize. In the 1960 presidential election, he narrowly defeated Republican opponent Richard Nixon, who was the incumbent vice president.
Kennedy Major Accomplishments: Who was the real John F. Kennedy?
Eisenhower was succeeded in 1960 by John F. Kennedy. By that year the young senator from Massachusetts had served three terms as a congressman and eight years in the U.S. Senate. For many years after his untimely death in 1963 he was treated with such reverence that few could bring themselves to say an unkind word about him. But in recent years his reputation has begun to decline even among otherwise liberal American historians, not only because he got relatively little accomplished—that, in fact, was an unintentional virtue—but because behind the Kennedy mystique, too much of his background and behavior was difficult to admire.
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