John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy was born in 1917 and was assassinated in 1963. He is also known by his initials JFK. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. Of Irish descent, he was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard in 1940. He joined the Navy and in 1943 his boat was sunk by the Japanese. Despite grave injuries, he led the survivors through perilous waters to safety.
Back from the war, JFK became a Democratic Congressman, advancing to the Senate in 1953. He married Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. In 1955, he wrote “Profiles in Courage”, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history. In 1960 millions watched his television debates with the Republican candidate, Richard M. Nixon. He won the presidency by a narrow margin and became the first Roman Catholic President.
His Inaugural Address offered the memorable words: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what youcan do for your country." As President, he set out to keep his campaign promise to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest economic growth since World War II. He also took vigorous action in the cause of equal rights.
Kennedy increased the nation's military strength and spending on the space race during the Cold War. He confronted Russia when it tried to put nuclear missiles in Cuba. While the world trembled on the brink of nuclear war, the Russians backed down. On November 22, 1963, hardly past his first thousand days in office, JFK was assassinated. He was the youngest man elected President and the youngest to die.