John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1917 - 1963
White House photo by Cecil Stoughton, 11 July 1963
Born: 29 May 1917, Brookline, Massachusetts
Died: 22 November 1963, Dallas, Texas
The son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr, a prominent businessman, and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, daughter of Boston's mayor, "Jack" was educated mostly at private schools, notably Choate School at Wallingford, Connecticut. He spent a year in Europe, largely studying at the London School of Economics, then entered Princeton University. That was cut short when he fell ill and spent two months in hospital due to suspected leukemia. In 1936 he entered Harvard University, graduating cum laude with a degree in international affairs in 1940. His thesis on England's role in the Munich Agreement ending World War I was published as Why England Slept and became a bestseller. The next spring he volunteered for the Army but was rejected because of his history of back problems, that fall family connections got him into the Navy. After Pearl Harbor he was posted to the Pacific with command of a torpedo patrol boat, PT-109, which was sunk in a collision with a Japanese destroyer. His actions in rescuing shipmates (only two of thirteen men were lost) earned him a Purple Heart. In 1946 he was elected to the US House of Representatives, serving three terms before running for a Senate seat in 1952. In 1953 he married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. He underwent several spinal surgeries over the next two years, while recovering he wrote Profiles in Courage with his speech writer, Ted Sorensen (not credited at that time). He was second in balloting for the vice presidential slot at the 1956 Democratic Convention, sparing him the association with the loss to Eisenhower. He narrowly defeated Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 presidential election, the first presidential race to feature televised debates. (His campaign was managed by his brother Robert, western states were managed by his brother Ted.) Although his inaugural speech is widely praised and quoted, his actual presidency did not see great changes; most of his actual legislative goals weren't passed by Congress until after his death, although the economy boomed after the previous several years of stagnation. He did found the Peace Corps, start America on the race to the moon, and face down the Soviets over missiles in Cuba. While campaigning at Dallas, Texas, he was shot by a sniper in a motorcade and buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Additional quotes from Wikiquote. Wikiquote entries are "sourced" and may include items longer than those included here, particularly for poets, lyricists, and dramatists.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy quotes:
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- A child miseducated is a child lost. permalink
- A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all. Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality. permalink
television address (11 June 1963)
- A life of complete leisure is the hardest work of all. permalink
- A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality. permalink
- A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. permalink
- A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. permalink
- A rising tide lifts all boats. permalink
- A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. Today's military rejects include tomorrow's hard-core unemployed. permalink
- All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, "Ich bin ein Berliner." permalink
- All this will not be finished in the first hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin. permalink
- And so my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. permalink
inaugural address (20 January 1961)
- And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. permalink
inaugural address (20 January 1961)
- As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. permalink
- Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. permalink
- Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future. permalink
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