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Famous leaders

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy in the White HouseJohn F. Kennedy in the White House In January 1961, John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) became the youngest person ever to be sworn in as president of the United States, at the age of 43. Amongst other things, his time as president is remembered for the Bay of Pigs invasion and Cuban missile crisis, for the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, for the start of the US Apollo space programme, and for the creation of the Peace Corps. His presidency was brought to an abrupt end when he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on 22nd November 1963. He is particularly remembered for his powerful speeches, and for his belief that people could solve their problems if they were willing to work together as citizens of their country.

Early life

The Kennedy family on holiday in 1931 The Kennedy family on holiday in 1931 The Kennedy family came to the United States from Ireland in 1849, settling in Boston, Massachusetts. John Fitzgerald (often known as Jack) was the second of nine children born to Joseph Kennedy and his wife Rose. Joseph was a banker and amassed a huge fortune. John went to several schools, where he excelled at sport. He was, however, dogged by ill-health and in 1936 he injured his spine in a football accident, an injury that would stay with him for the rest of his life. He studied at the London School of Economics before following his elder brother Joe to Harvard University.

War service

In the eyes of the American public, the Cuban missile crisis increased Kennedy’s popularity. His approval rating, as measured by opinion polls, went up from 66% to 77% immediately after the crisis.

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