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In November 1960 at the age of 43 John F Kennedy became the youngest man ever elected president of the United States Theodore Roosevelt had become president at 42 when President William McKinley was assassinated but he was not elected at that age On Nov 22 1963 Kennedy was shot to death in Dallas Tex the fourth United States president to die by an assassins bullet Kennedy was the nations first Roman Catholic president He was inaugurated in January 1961 succeeding Republican President Dwight D Eisenhower He defeated the Republican candidate Vice-President Richard M Nixon by little more than 100000 votes It was one of the closest elections in the nations history Although Kennedy and his vice- presidential running mate Lyndon B Johnson got less than half of the more than 68 million votes cast they won the Electoral College vote Kennedy thus became the 14th minority president Because of the close vote election results were challenged in many states The official electoral vote was Kennedy 303 Nixon 219 and Senator Harry F Byrd of Virginia 15 President Kennedys great-grandparents immigrated to the United States from Ireland in 1858 They settled in Boston Mass His grandfathers Patrick J Kennedy and John F Honey Fitz Fitzgerald were born there Both men became influential in state politics Honey Fitz served several terms as Bostons mayor and as a member of the United States House of Representatives Patrick Kennedy was a powerful ward boss and served in both houses of the Massachusetts legislature Patricks son Joseph was a brilliant mathematician At the age of 25 he became the youngest bank president in the United States His fortune continued to grow and he was one of the few financiers to sense the stock market crash of 1929 He made hundreds of millions of dollars Joseph married Rose Fitzgerald daughter of Honey Fitz on Oct 7 1914 Their first child Joseph Jr was born in 1915 John was born on
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