John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) [cite this] More images » Life in Brief: John F. Kennedy was born into a rich, politically connected Boston family of Irish-Catholics. He and his eight siblings enjoyed a privileged childhood of elite private schools, sailboats, servants, and summer homes. During his childhood and youth… more life in brief » Essays about John F. Kennedy Life in Brief Life in Brief: John F. Kennedy was born into a rich, politically connected Boston family of Irish-Catholics. He and his eight siblings enjoyed a privileged childhood of elite private schools, sailboats, servants, and summer homes. During his childhood and youth, "Jack" Kennedy suffered frequent serio… Life Before the Presidency Life Before the Presidency: Born soon after America's entry into the First World War, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the nation's first President born in the 20th century. Both parents were from wealthy Boston families with long political histories. His maternal grandfather had been mayor of Boston. Kennedy's father, … Campaigns and Elections Campaigns and Elections: The Campaign and Election of 1960: The election of 1960 brought to the forefront a generation of politicians born in the twentieth century, pitting the 47-year old Republican vice president Richard Nixon against the 43-year old Democratic challenger John F. Kennedy. Kennedy's chief riva…Domestic Affairs Domestic Affairs: Kennedy's domestic legislative program, often described by the umbrella term of "New Frontier" legislation taken from his July 1960 acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention, faced an often difficult passage through Congress. With the Democratic majority in Congress razor…Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs: Once in office, it was clear that Kennedy would likely face several international challenges that could come from any number of directions. Recurring flare-ups in Berlin, periodical crises with Communist China, and an increasingly difficult situation in Southeast Asia, all threatened to erupt. …Family Life Family Life: The Kennedys had their first child, Caroline, in 1957; John Jr. was born a few days after his father won the presidency. A third child, Patrick, died two days after his birth in 1963. After a long succession of elderly Presidents, it was refreshing for many to see the Kennedy family's youth and …The American Franchise The American Franchise: During the Kennedy years, some groups that had formerly been discriminated against made great breakthroughs in realizing the American Dream. For others, the early 1960s proved to be another disappointing era. President Kennedy initiated the planning for a "War on Poverty" in 1963, after r…Impact and Legacy Impact and Legacy: John F. Kennedy had promised much but never had the opportunity to follow through. It was, in the words of one notable biographer, "an unfinished life." For that reason, assessments of the policies of the Kennedy presidency remain mixed. Kennedy played a role in revolutionizing American p… About His Administration First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Vice President Lyndon Johnson (1961–1963) Secretary of State Dean Rusk (1961–1963) Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara (1961–1963) Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall (1961–1963) Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1961–1963) Postmaster General John A. Gronouski (1963) J. Edward Day (1961–1963) Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon (1961–1963) Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz (1962–1963) Arthur J. Goldberg (1961–1962) Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges (1961–1963) Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman (1961–1963) Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze (1962–1963) Abraham Ribicoff (1961–1962) John F. Kennedy Presidential Recordings Kennedy Dictabelt Conversation 41.1 Kennedy Conversation in Sep 1963 (113.3) Kennedy Conversation on May 13, 1963 (87.1) Kennedy Dictabelt Conversation 34 Kennedy Conversation on Mar 09, 1963 (77.2) view all recordings » Facts about John F. Kennedy Term: 35th President of the United States (1961 – 1963) Born: May 29, 1917, Brookline, Massachusetts Political Party: Democrat Died: November 22, 1963 Nickname: “JFK,” “Jack” Education: Harvard (1940) Religion: Roman Catholic Marriage: September 12, 1953 to Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (1929–1994) Children: Caroline Bouvier (1957– ); John Fitzgerald, Jr. (1960–1999); Patrick Bouvier (1963) Career: Author, U.S. Navy Officer, Journalist, Public Official Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia WritingsWhy England Slept (1940); Profiles in Courage (1956) John F. Kennedy Image Gallery More images » John F. Kennedy Exhibits ‘The Civil Rights Act of 1964’ On June 11, 1963, President John F. Kennedy gave a televised address to the American people and announced that he would be sending a civil rights bill to Congress which would outlaw racial segregation and make employment discrimination illegal. ‘The Ole Miss Crisis’ In the summer of 1962, James Meredith wanted to enroll in the University of Mississippi, the first black ever to do so, and the Kennedy administration was determined to make this possible. These excerpts from an all night crisis management meeting that started late on September 30 reveal the tension that gripped Kennedy and his brother, the Attorney General. September 1962. ‘JFK and Harold Macmillan on the Cuban Missile Crisis’ Kennedy placed this call after having held crisis meetings with advisers all day. Macmillan received the call around midnight London time. U Thant, acting secretary-general of the United Nations, had been holding round-the-clock talks in New York. In the latest development, US Ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, had met with U Thant earlier that day in New York. U Thant, in turn, had been talking Soviet Ambassador to the United Nations Valerian Zorin. ‘Troop Levels’ Sending troops into harm's way is arguably the most difficult decision a president confronts. The White House tapes of presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon capture remarkably intimate and candid behind-the-scenes views of presidents agonizing over this decision in another war fought in distant lands for complex geo-political reasons. more exhibits » Kennedy White House Tapes “Fly Me To the Moon” “March on Washington” More » Citation Information Consulting Editor David Coleman Professor Coleman is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia and Chair of the Presidential Recordings Program, overseeing the John F. Kennedy project, at the Miller Center of Public Affairs. His writings include: Real-World Nuclear Deterrence: The Making of International Strategy (Co-authored with Joseph Siracusa, Praeger Security International, 2006) Depression to Cold War: A History of America from Herbert Hoover to Ronald Reagan (Co-authored with Joseph Siracusa, Praeger Publishers, 2002) More » Lyndon B. Johnson » « Dwight D. Eisenhower American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!