Close

Recent Posts

Politics

How Old Was JFK When He Became President

How Old Was JFK When He Became President
  • PublishedAugust 17, 2022

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) who was also referred to by his nickname “Jack” was an American politician. He served as the 35th President of the United States from 1961 to 1963 until he was assassinated. 

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born into a well disciplined and organised family. His parents had a total of 9 children including him. He was the second oldest one of the lot. He had three brothers and five sisters. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was also named after her mother’s father, John Francis Fitzgerald. John Francis Fitzgerald was a Boston Mayor and also popularly went by the name of Honey Fitz. 

Early Life

Out of nowhere, John’s friends and family members started referring to him as “Jack”. When John was around three years old, he started getting sick. He was never a healthy child from the beginning. His mother even made notecards of the diseases he was suffering through. John’s grandparents and parents didn’t lead an easy life. 

His grandparents had come from Ireland and still provided for their family. Similarly, John’s father was a Harvard student and didn’t feel comfortable in Irish Catholic. There was a lot of prejudice regarding Irish Catholic in Boston at that time. Although John’s grandparents went through many hardships to become renowned politicians in Boston. His father also became a very successful businessman later on. Due to all the hardships his parents and grandparents faced, John was able to lead a comfortable life. 

John was always great at sports despite not being fully healthy. He played many sports such as football, basketball and tennis. In 1936, John graduated from school and was admitted into Harvard – where his older brother Joe was already studying. Similar to Joe, John also played football there. He was not as good as Joe but he always kept on pushing hard. Unfortunately, one day while playing football Jack ruptured a disk in his spine. He never really recovered from this incident and his back became more and more worse. The injury went onto bother him for the rest of his life. 

Desperate Times

Whilst Joe and Jack were at Harvard, their father got appointed as United States Ambassador to England and moved there. Jack became quite interested in politics and other worldly matters due to his father’s new job. Both brothers used to receive letters from Mr. Kennedy about certain political events taking place. However on September 1, 1939, Adolph Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland and hence began World War II. During this time Jack was in his final year at Harvard. 

When John graduated from Harvard in 1940, he received a letter from his father from London. 

“TWO THINGS I ALWAYS KNEW ABOUT YOU ONE THAT YOU ARE SMART TWO THAT YOU ARE A SWELL GUY LOVE DAD.”

After graduating, Joe and John joined the Navy. Joe was sent to Europe. While on the other hand, John was made Lieutenant (Lt.) and was assigned to the South Pacific. During patrolling, John and his men were met by some unexpected circumstances and John again injured his weak back during the combat. Sadly, John’s brother Joe was not lucky and was declared dead a year later after joining the Navy. Apparently his plane blew up on a dangerous mission in Europe. 

A New Chapter

When John returned home, he was awarded with many medals for his excellent leadership. With the war finally coming to an end, John was given the task to choose his next career. John had thought of becoming a professor or writer. However his father had thought otherwise. He asked John to run for Congress in Massachusetts’ eleventh congressional district. John won it in 1946. This was the beginning of John’s political career. John F. Kennedy served for six years in the House of Representatives and in 1952 he was elected to the US Senate. 

After being elected as Senator, John who was 36 by now, married 24 year old Jacqueline Bouvier. However, during the early stages of his marriage, John’s back started to hurt again and he had to undergo two major surgeries. During all the free time, John wrote some books which were also given awards. His book ‘Profile’s in Courage’ was awarded with the Pulitzer Prize in 1956. Following the same year, he had his first child born, Caroline. 

But John was becoming a great politician with each day passing. Due to his popularity, he was almost elected to run for Vice President in 1956. Regardless of that, John F. Kennedy decided to run for President in the next elections. 

John F. Kennedy, 35th President Of U.S.

He imminently started working for long hours. He also visited the country on weekends. On July 13, 1960, the Democratic party nominated John F. Kennedy as their candidate to run for President. John further asked Lyndon B. Johnson – a Senator from Texas, to run with him as Vice President. During the elections on November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy defeated the Republican Vice President Richard Nixon with a close margin. By the age of 43, John F. Kennedy was elected as the President of United States. He was the youngest person to become a President at that time and the first Catholic too. 

John F. Kennedy was publicly sworn in as the 35th President of United States on January 20, 1961. In his first official speech as President, John Stated: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,”

President Kennedy alongside the support of his wife and two children brought a new prosperity to the White House. He believed that White House should be place to celebrate American history and culture. 

Written By
Shanayal Saeed

Passionate Writer.