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John Fitzgerald Kennedy, born into the famous Kennedy Family, is recognized as the 35th US president who served for two years before his assassination (Kitch, 2002). John F Kennedy was one of the youngest to be elected president and the youngest to die. Apart from being a politician, JFK was a communist who served during the Cold War. John F Kennedy’s presidency stands out in the history of the US presidency, proven by his personal and political life, which led to his assassination and untimely death.
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John F Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, to Joseph and Rose Kennedy, who had a large family of eight other children. The father was a politician and a businessman; his mother was a socialite and philanthropist. He took after the grandfather he was named after, who served the nation as a congressman. At an early age, the late president would accompany his grandfather on his historical site tours and later discuss the experiences during family dinners; this raised his interest in public service and history. JFK managed to join Harvard after completing his high school education. During his college days, John F Kennedy tried out for the swimming, golf, and football teams and got a spot on the swimming team. Apart from swimming, JFK continued with his touring tendencies, visiting the Middle East, the Balkans, the Soviet Union, and Europe. JFK took his studies seriously and developed a liking for political philosophy, creating the best thesis of his time. Later in 1940, the president graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Arts in government, specializing in international affairs (Meagher & Gragg, 2011).
John F Kennedy met his wife, Jacqueline, while serving as a congressman. The two got married in 1953 (Norwich, 2013). Later, they suffered several tragedies while trying to bring up a family. Jacqueline got a miscarriage and a stillbirth in two years; however, the third trial was successful. As a result, they got their first daughter Caroline, the only surviving member of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy immediate family. Later in 1960, a son, john junior, was born; however, he died serving as a pilot in 1999. The final stretch of the couples’ tragedies was marked in 1963, a few months before the late president was assassinated; Jacqueline got another son, Patrick, who, in two days, passed away due to birth complications.
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Kennedy and Jacqueline were younger than the first ladies and presidents before them. They were fans of the media, having a dedication uncommon to politicians and more prone among actors and singers as they greatly influenced fashion and became popular in magazines. Kennedy had impeccable taste; he redecorated the white house with new furniture and art and intermingled with a wide range of intellectuals, writers, and artists.
Kennedy suffered from multiple diseases in his childhood, such as ear infections, measles, and chicken pox. He also suffered from other diseases throughout his adulthood, such as chronic back pain and hypothyroidism.
John F Kennedy was convinced that his Republican adversary in 1964 was Sen B Goldwater from Arizona and that he would defeat him under a landslide of votes (Skipper, 2016). The obstacle to the plan was a dispute between Sen Ralph and John Connally junior; JFK decided to tour with both individuals to show unity. Following his plan, the late president traveled to Texas on 21st November 1963 to make political speeches. The next day, JFK drove his car slowly through a crowd in Dallas, and suddenly gunshots were fired toward him. At that moment, several bullets hit the president’s head and neck, and he collapsed on his wife. The governor in the car got shot in his back. The car rushed to a nearby hospital; however, it was too late to save the late president. A priest was called to administer the last prayers before John F Kennedy was declared dead. The governor, though badly hurt, later recovered. The police later arrested an individual, Lee H Oswald, on accounts involved in the assassination. However, days after the president’s death, as Oswald was being transferred to the county jail, he was shot by Jack Ruby and died.
The event caused a dead end in gathering more information on the late president’s death. The late president’s flag-draped casket was transferred from the White House to the Capitol (Johnson, 2007). A crowd gathered and openly wept during his burial ceremonies. JFK was then laid to rest in the national cemetery. The burial was attended by state representatives and heads from more than a hundred countries. The late president’s death caused great grief and sadness among all Americans; today, most individuals remember precisely where they were before the tragic incident. The lack of information regarding the reasons for the president’s assassination causes great sadness.
Conclusively, this essay is a biography of JFK, analyzing his early and personal life and assassination, which led to his untimely death. However, as time goes by and as other presidents make their history, John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s short period serving as president stands out in the memories of Americans.
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- Johnson, L. B. (2007). A white house diary (Vol. 17). University of Texas Press.
- Kitch, C. (2002). “A death in the American family”: Myth, memory, and national values in the media mourning of John F. Kennedy Jr. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 79(2), 294-309.
- Meagher, M., & Gragg, L. D. (2011). John F. Kennedy: A Biography. ABC-CLIO.
- Norwich, G. (2013). I Am# 9: John F. Kennedy. Scholastic Inc.
- Skipper, J. C. (2016). The 1964 Republican Convention: Barry Goldwater and the Beginning of the Conservative Movement. McFarland.