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John Fitzgerald Kennedy 2 Essay, Research Paper

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. Kennedy was a descendant of Irish Catholics who had immigrated to America in the 19th century. His father was a combative business man who became a multimillionaire.

Kennedy graduated from Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, briefly attended Princeton University, and then entered Harvard University in 1936. At Harvard he wrote an honors thesis on British foreign policies. Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1940.

During World War II, Kennedy joined the U.S. navy. While on active duty in the Pacific in 1943, the boat he commanded was sunk by the Japanese. Kennedy performed heroically in rescuing his crew. He was discharged in 1945. On September. 12, 1953, Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier. During parts of 1954 and 1955 he was seriously ill with back ailments. During his illness Kennedy worked on biographical studies of American political heroes called “Profiles in Courage”. The biography won a Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1957. Like in his earlier book on British foreign poicy, it showed his admiration for forceful political figures. The hallmark of Kennedy s presidency was based on a firm anti-Communist foreign policy. He was a cautious liberal on domestic issues, he backed a compromise civil rights bill in 1957 and gave special effort to labor legislation.

In 1961, Kennedy ran for presidency, he won the election over Richard Nixon by a narrow margin. During his time in office, Kennedy continued to fight Communism. One of the major overseas confrontations Kennedy experienced was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In October 1962, US intelligence discovered that the Russians were building offensive missile sites in Cuba. Kennedy recognized the move as deliberately threatening. He ordered a naval and air quarantine on shipments of weapons to Cuba. The Soviets pulled back and promised not to set up the missiles. This was seen as one of Kennedy s greatest accomplishments during his presidency.

John F. Kennedy s main contributions in improving the human condition were helping to stop Communism, and creating equal rights for African Americans. Kennedy was one of the major factors in the decrease of communist power in Asia, Russia, Eastern Europe and other Communist ruled contries. He also set better Civil Rights Legislations and helped combat racism in the South-Eastern United States. Kennedy made a big influence on the fight against racism and he helped pave the road for equal rights for blacks in the United States. Perhaps the most well known death was that of John F.Kennedy. On November 22, 1963 at 12:30 p.m. while driving through Dallas, Texas in an open limousine, Kennedy was shot in the head and neck by a sniper. He was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where efforts to revive him failed. It was later concluded that the killer, acting alone, was 24-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald. The state funeral of John F. Kennedy was watched by millions around the world. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


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