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John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917-1963 35th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES The youngest ever elected to the presidency and the first of the Roman Catholic faith John F Kennedy won the ELECTION of November 1960 by a razor-thin margin but after taking office he received the support of most Americans They admired his winning personality his lively family his intelligence and his tireless energy and they respected his courage in time of decision During his relatively brief term of office--less than three years--President Kennedy dealt with severe challenges in Cuba Berlin and elsewhere A nuclear test ban treaty in 1963 brought about a relaxation in cold war tensions following a time of severe confrontation early in the administration Domestically much of the Kennedy program was unfulfilled brought to fruition only in the Johnson administration The US space program however surged ahead during the Kennedy administration scoring dramatic gains that benefited American prestige worldwide An assassins bullet cut short Kennedys term as president On Nov 22 1963 the young president was shot to death while riding in a motorcade in Dallas Texas As the nation joined in mourning dignitaries from around the world gathered at his funeral in Washington to pay their respects Mayor Willy Brandt of West Berlin expressed the worlds sense of loss when he said that a flame went out for all those who had hoped for a just peace and a better life Early Years Kennedy was descended from Irish forebears who immigrated to Boston His grandfather Patrick J Kennedy started as a saloonkeeper and became a Boston political leader His father Joseph Patrick Kennedy graduated from Harvard became a bank president at 25 and married the daughter of John Francis Honey Fitz Fitzgerald mayor of Boston John was born on May 29 1917 in Brookline Mass the second of nine children As an infant he lived in a comfortable but modest frame house in that suburb of Boston
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