John F. Kennedy.

Essay by wross21College, UndergraduateA+, October 2005

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On November 22, 1963, while being driven through the streets of Dallas, Texas, in his convertible, Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy. The world had lost more than a common man; it lost a great leader. According to JFK, Life and Legacy, "He proved great leadership from his heroic actions in World War II to making the decisions to avoid possible nuclear conflict with world powers during his presidency." Because of his birth into the well-respected Kennedy family much was to be expected of him.

Kennedy was born on May 29,1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. His father, Joe, Sr., was a successful businessman with many political connections. Appointed by President Roosevelt, Joe, Sr., was given the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and later the prestigious position of United States ambassador to Great Britain. His mother, Rose, was a loving housewife and took John on frequent trips around Boston learning about the American revolutionary history.

In 1935, John enrolled at Harvard. On campus, he took interest in politics, social changes, and events in Europe. In June 1940, John graduated from Harvard. After graduation, Wilfrid Funk published Kennedy's paper titled, Why England Slept. It became a bestseller. John, at twenty-five, became a well-known sensation.

In the spring of 1941, John and his brother, Joe, Jr., enrolled in the armed services. Joe was accepted as a naval air cadet and John was accepted as a desk clerk. He was disgusted and applied for a transfer. In June 1941, Kennedy was sent to Naval Officers Training School at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and then for additional training at the Motor Torpedo Boat Center at Melville, Rhode Island.

In late April 1943, Lieutenant John F. Kennedy was put in command of a PT 109. Kennedy saw action...