Born on May 29, 1917, John Kennedy was the second child of nine children. He grew up in a wealthy and highly political family. His father, Joseph P. Kennedy,became a multi-millionaire through enterprises such as banking, motion pictures andthe stock market. He gave each of his children a million dollars when they turned21. Kennedy graduated from Harvard University with a B.S. in political science. Soon after his continuation of his senior thesis Why England Slept became abest-seller. During World war II he received a purple heart and the Navy andMarine Corps Medal for helping to save the lives of ten survivors of the destroyedPT boat he was in command of. After being discharged in 1945, John took on thejob of newspaper reporter. In 1946, J.F.K. ran and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. After serving three terms he then won a seat in the United States Senate. One yearafter that he married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. Shortly after he wrote Profiles inCourage, his Pulitzer Prize winning biography. In 1960, Kennedy ran against Richard Nixon and won by one of the closestmargins in history. At 43 he became the youngest person and the first RomanCatholic to be elected president of the United States. During his inaugural address he is quoted with challenging the people, Asknot what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.
During his presidency, Kennedy was faced with problems such as the Cubancommunist government, the building of the Berlin wall, and the resumption ofnuclear testing in Russia. In an attempt to overthrow communist Fidel Castrol, Kennedy approved anunsuccessful invasion by refugees. The Bay of Pigs incident was a seriousembarrassment to the Kennedy administration. Then in 1962, proof was obtainedthat the Soviet Union had placed missiles in Cuba that were capable of striking theU.S. Finally, after the U.S. sent ships to form a blockade, Russia backed down andthe event proved a political triumph for the President. In addition to his work with the establishment of the Peace Corps, his moveto end religious and racial discrimination, and equal opportunities and civil rights,John F. Kennedy also supported the space program. With pressure from theRussians, Kennedy told Congress, I believe that this nation should commit itself toachieving a goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon andreturning him safely to earth. Unfortunately, Kennedy s term and his hopes to see his dream fulfilled, wascut short by an assassin s bullet. On November 22, 1963 while riding in an openlimousine John Kennedy was shot twice by Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S.Marine. President John F. Kennedy was the fourth United States President ever tobe assassinated. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.