John Fitzgerald Kennedy, of Irish descent was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was the second child of Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald. John had 3 brothers and nine sisters. John obtained a nickname (Jack) from his family and friends. He looked at Jack as sort of a manly name, so he stuck with it. He lived just outside of Boston but as his family grew larger, his father's income increased, enabling the family to move back to Brookline, just a few blocks from their original home.
John had what seems to be a happy childhood. He attended private elementary schools where he was involved sports and games. Unfortunately, Jack never made the varsity team; nonetheless, his father encouraged him to take part in sports. He learned from Roman Catholic lawmen at Canterbury School. Jack later attended the Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut. Jack was very popular and had many friends here.
Jack was never very healthy, and he suffered from many illnesses, such as; scarlet fever, whooping cough, measles, chicken pox, and jaundice. Despite this his classmates actually voted him most likely to succeed. He graduated in 1935, ranking 64th in a class of 112. In the summer of 1935 he studied at the London School of Economics. He enrolled at Harvard in 1936, where his father and older brother Joe Jr. went to college. He played football and graduated in 1940 with a science degree.
Soon after he graduated he wrote his first book, "Why England Slept."
In March of 1941, Jack volunteered for the army, but was not allowed to enlist because of a back injury he obtained playing football at Harvard. He took classes to strengthen his back and was then accepted into the navy, in which he was made a...