Kennedy was the second youngest U.S. president ever elected, and the first and only Catholic president. He beat Richard Nixon, vice president in the previous administration, in a famous, closely-contested presidential election.
For various reasons, Kennedy was, during the time he served, perhaps the most popular president in U.S. history. He was a handsome photogenic man, who seemed open and accessible, and the fact that his administration marked a notable increase in direct media exposure of the president to the public at large - through television broadcasts from the Oval Office, televised press conferences, and numerous photo spreads in popular magazines. The charisma, with its air of charm, ease and nobility projected to the public by Kennedy and his family led to the figurative designation of "Camelot" to the White House in its role as the Kennedy family home.
Information released after his death leaves little doubt that he had at least one, and probably several affairs while in office, including liaisons in the White House. Such things were not then considered fit for publication, and in Kennedy's case, were never publicly discussed.
Kennedy was only president for about 1,000 days. This brief tenure was marked by such notable events as the acceleration of the United States' role in the space race, the beginning of the escalation of the American role in the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis, and the Bay of Pigs; these events aggravated the Cold War with the USSR. He appointed his brother Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) to his Cabinet as Attorney General. (Robert was assassinated in 1968.)
President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald, apprehended for the crime, was himself murdered by Jack Ruby before he could be formally charged or brought to trial. Subsequent investigations by the FBI and various committees under the auspices of the United States Congress have concluded that Oswald did commit the crime, and acted alone. That conclusion, as well as the methodology and evidence used to arrive at same, has been strongly disputed by a number of sources, including some persons actually involved in the investigations.
He was the last Democratic president to push for income tax cuts to improve the economy. He was the last Northern Democrat to win the Presidency.
John Kennedy is sometimes referred to as JFK.
Critics of Kennedy argue that Kennedy passed little significant legislation during his term as President.
- First Lady: Jacqueline (Jackie) Lee Bouvier Kennedy
- Previous President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Next President: Lyndon Johnson
- Vice President: Lyndon Johnson