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John Fitzgerald Kennedy

35th President of the United States
(January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963)

Nickname: "JFK", "Jack"

Born: May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts
Died: November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas

Father: Joseph Patrick Kennedy
Mother: Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy
Married: Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (1929-1994), on September 12, 1953
Children: Caroline Bouvier Kennedy (1957- ); John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. (1960-99); Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (1963)

Religion: Roman Catholic
Education: Graduated from Harvard College (1940)
Occupation: Author, public official
Political Party: Democrat
Other Government Positions:

  • Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1947-53

  • United States Senator, 1953-61

Presidential Salary: $100,000/year + $50,000 expense account (refused by Kennedy)

Presidential Election Results:



Popular Votes

Electoral Votes


John F. Kennedy




tiny U.S. flag Richard M. Nixon



Vice President: tiny U.S. flag Lyndon B. Johnson (1961-63)


Secretary of State

Dean Rusk (1961-63)

Secretary of the Treasury

C. Douglas Dillon (1961-63)

Secretary of Defense

Robert S. McNamara (1961-63)

Attorney General

Robert F. Kennedy (1961-63)

Postmaster General

J. Edward Day (1961-63)

John A. Gronouski, Jr. (1963)

Secretary of the Interior

Stewart L. Udall (1961-63)

Secretary of Agriculture

Orville L. Freeman (1961-63)

Secretary of Commerce

Luther H. Hodges (1961-63)

Secretary of Labor

Arthur J. Goldberg (1961-62)

W. Willard Wirtz (1962-63)

Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Abraham A. Ribicoff (1961-62)

Anthony J. Celebrezze (1962-63)

Notable Events:

  • 1960

    • The first joint radio-television broadcast of a U.S. Presidential debate was held on September 26. It was between Kennedy and tiny U.S. flag Richard M. Nixon.

  • 1961

    • The U.S. sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba was attempted without success.

    • Nikita Khrushchev, the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union, ordered the creation of the Berlin Wall in June to divide Soviet-controlled East Berlin from West Berlin, which was part of the free and democratic West Germany.

  • 1963

    • The Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed on August 6 by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union.

    • President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas Texas.

Internet Biographies:

John F. Kennedy -- from The Presidents of the United States of America

Compiled by the White House.

John F. Kennedy -- from Table of Presidents and Vice Presidents of the United States - MSN Encarta

Grolier Online has created this resource from its collection of print articles in Encyclopedia Americana. Contains a full biography, written by Frank B. Freidel, Jr. of Harvard University, along with suggestions for further reading.

John F. Kennedy -- from The American President

From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.

John F. Kennedy -- from Character Above All

From a PBS broadcast of the same name, this essay excerpt by Richard Reeves discusses some of the issues and events that molded Kennedy.

John F. Kennedy -- from Supercomputing '94

Tourist information for the 1994 Conference on High Performance Computing & Communications included this biography.

Historical Documents:

Inaugural Address (1961)
Announcement of Candidacy for the Presidency (1960)
The Presidency in 1960 (1960)
Remarks at the University of Michigan (1960)

Kennedy proposes the Peace Corps.

Address Accepting the Democratic Party Nomination for the Presidency (1960)
Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association (1960)

Kennedy addresses the issue of his religion.

Address to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1961)

"City upon a hill" speech.

"The President and the Press" (1961)
Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs (1961)

Kennedy establishes goal of landing a man on the moon.

Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations (1961)
Address at the Inaugural Anniversary Dinner (1962)

Humorous parody of the Inaugural Address

Address at the University of California, Berkeley (1962)
Statement on the "Steel Crisis" (1962)
Commencement Address at Yale University (1962)
Radio and TV Address on the Situation in Mississippi (1962)
Radio and TV Report on the Soviet Arms Buildup in Cuba (1962)
Commencement Address at American University (1963)

Kennedy and the beginning of detente.

Radio and TV Report on Civil Rights (1963)
Remarks at the Rudolph Wilde Platz (1963)

Berlin Wall speech ("Ich bin ein Berliner.")

Address to the Irish Parliament (1963)
Radio and TV Address on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)
Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations (1963)
Remarks at Amherst College (1963)

Kennedy on the importance of the arts.

Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas (1963)

This speech was never given.

Remarks Prepared for Delivery to the Texas State Democratic Convention, Austin, Texas (1963)

This speech was never given.

Media Resources:

Kennedy outlines the U.S. response to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. (1:00)

RealAudio | MP3 (470K)

From the Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University under the leadership of Dr. Maurice Crane.

Sound recordings from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

Excerpts from his Inaugural Address, his address to the United Nations, and others.

Audio & Video
The American Presidency Projects's Presidential Audio/Video Archive for John F. Kennedy site

Other Internet Resources:

JFK Assassination Homepage

Created by Ralph Schuster, this is one of many conspiracy sites on the Internet on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In addition to the author's personal opinions, there is other useful information here -- a film and video library, an account of the events of November 22, 1963, the text of the Warren Report, and links to other JFK assassination sites.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, information on the museum, library collection, and tours can be found here.

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

A "living memorial" to Kennedy, an outspoken supporter of the arts. Located in Washington, D.C. Information on the history and performances at the Kennedy Center is also available.

Sixth Floor Museum

Located on the Sixth Floor of the former Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, Texas, this site is believed to be the location where Kennedy's assassin fired upon the presidential motorcade. Now a museum dedicated to the life of Kennedy. Tourist information is available.

Points of Interest:

  • Kennedy's speech to the students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 14, 1960 was the start of the Peace Corps.

  • In his speech to a Joint Session of Congress on May 25, 1961, Kennedy set the goal of landing a man on the moon by 1969 for the United State's Space Program (NASA).

  • Kennedy gave a famous speech in West Berlin in June 1963 that emphasized the importance of the "free world" fighting the "Communist world". Two memorable phrases that he spoke in German were: "Lassísie nach Berlin kommen," or "Let them come to Berlin"; and "Ish bin ein Bearleener," or "I am a Berliner."

  • Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas Texas. He had spent little more than a thousand days in office before being assassinated.

  • In 1965, the report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (also known as the Warren Commission) found that a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, fatally shot Kennedy from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Three other government investigations were later conducted. All three agreed with the Warren Commission's conclusions that Oswald's shots did kill Kennedy. However, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1979 also concluded that another shooter fired upon Kennedy from the Dealey Plaza grassy knoll and missed. The existence of a second shooter and many other conclusions in these investigations are very controversial.




John Fitzgerald Kennedy

35th President of the United States
(January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963)


Jacqueline Kennedy