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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29 1917 in Brookline Massachusetts the second oldest in a family of nine children Joe Junior was born first then Jack Rosemary Kathleen Eunice Patricia Robert Jean and Edward He was also the great-grandson of Irish immigrants who came to America in the 19th century His great grandparents had come to the United States from Ireland in the mid-1800s after a famine caused severe poverty in that country Although their families had not come to the United States with much money both of John Kennedys grandfathers became political leaders in Boston One of them John Fitzgerald for whom he was named was elected mayor in 1905 His father the son of a saloonkeeper had graduated from Harvard and at age 25 became the youngest bank president in the US He was a highly skilled investor and money handler and made a fortune Joseph Patrick Kennedy also became a very wealthy businessman an adviser to President Franklin D Roosevelt and the United States Ambassador to Great Britain from 1938 to 1940 In 1914 Joe Kennedy had married Rose Fitzgerald the daughter of John Honey Fitz Fitzgerald a colorful Boston politician As an infant he lived in a comfortable but modest frame house in that suburb of Boston As the family grew and the fathers fortune increased the Kennedys moved to larger more impressive homes first in Brookline then in suburbs of New York City John had a happy childhood full of family games and sports He attended private elementary schools none of them parochial He later spent a year at Canterbury School in New Milford Conn where he was taught by Roman Catholic laymen and four years at Choate School in Wallingford Conn John seemed to grow up in the shadow of his older brother Joseph who dominated family competitions and was a better student in school Encouraged by his father to take part in school athletics
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