John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. Take a look below for 30 more interesting and awesome facts about John F. Kennedy.
1. As a member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented the state of Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate prior to becoming president.
2. Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Kennedy.
3. He graduated from Harvard University in 1940 and joined the U.S. Naval Reserve the following year.
4. During World War II, he commanded a series of PT boats in the Pacific theater and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his service. After the war, Kennedy represented the 11th congressional district of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953.
5. While in the Senate, he published his book titled Profiles in Courage, which won a Pulitzer Price for Biography.
6. In the 1960 presidential election, Kennedy narrowly defeated Republican opponent Richard Nixon, who was the incumbent Vice President.
7. At the age of 43, he became the youngest man to be elected as U.S. president as well as being the first and only Roman Catholic to occupy the office.
8. In April 1961, Kennedy authorized a failed joint-CIA attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs Invasion.
9. He rejected Operation Northwoods plans by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to orchestrate false flag attacks on American soil in order to gain public approval for a war against Cuba.
10. Kennedy presided over the establishment of the Peace Corps and supported the civil rights movement, but he was largely unsuccessful in passing his New Frontier domestic policies.
11. In 1927, the Kennedy family moved to stately twenty room, Georgian style mansion at 5040 Independence Avenue in the Hudson Hill neighborhood of Riverdale, Bronx, New York City.
12. He attended the lower campus of Riverdale Country School, a private school for boys, from the 5th to the 7th grade. Two years later, the family moved to 294 Pondfield Road in the New York City suburb of Bronxville, New York, where Kennedy was a member of Scout Troop 2.
13. During his Choate years, Kennedy was beset by health problems that culminated with his emergency hospitalization at New Haven Hospital in 1934, where doctors thought that he might have leukemia.
14. In September 1935, he made his first trip abroad with his parents and his sister Kathleen to London intending to study under Harold Laski at the London School of Economics, as his older brother had done.
15. In September 1936, Kennedy enrolled at Harvard University, where he produced that year’s annual Freshman Smoker, called by a reviewer, “an elaborate entertainment, which included in its cast outstanding personalities of the radio, screen and sports world.”
16. In July 1937, Kennedy sailed to France, taking his convertible, and spent ten weeks driving through Europe with Billings.
17. In June 1938, Kennedy sailed overseas with his father and older brother to work at the American embassy in London, where his father was President D. Roosevelt’s U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James.
18. In 1939, Kennedy toured Europe, the Soviet Union, the Balkans and the Middle East in preparation for his Harvard senior honors thesis.
19. Kennedy died younger than any other United States President to date.
20. During his time as a Congressman and later a United States President, John F. Kennedy donated all of his salary to charity.
21. Kennedy had such concerns about the space program’s high cost that he proposed partnering with the Soviet Union on a joint expedition to the Moon.
22. In 1962, he secretly installed a taping system in the White House.
23. In 1999, the United States government paid the Zapruder family $16 million for the film of Kennedy’s assassination.
24. Kennedy bought 1,200 Cuban cigars just hours before signing the embargo against Cuba.
25. Had Kennedy lived, he would have inherited a fortune from his father estimated at $1 billion in today’s dollars, adjusted for inflation.
26. Larry King crashes into Kennedy’s car in 1958. Kennedy said that he’d forget the whole thing if King promised to vote for him when he ran for president.
27. The White House Correspondent’s Dinner was men only until 1962, when Kennedy refused to attend unless women were allowed in as well.
28. Kennedy’s last child, Patrick, died two days after birth in August 1963.
29. As Senator, Kennedy had been opposed to the Apollo space program and wanted to terminate it.
30. Aspiring actor Leonard Nimoy once gave a cab ride to future president John F. Kennedy.