John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States in

1961. At the age of forty-three, he was the youngest man ever elected president.

He was also the first Roman Catholic ever elected to the oval office. Rich,
handsome, charming, elegant, articulate, and from a well known family, Kennedy
became a natural recipiant of admiration both in the United States and abroad.

His assassination in Dallas, Texas on November 23, 1963 resulted in public
outrage and widespread mourning throughout the nation and the World. Kennedy\'s
term in office was too short to allow history to pass fair and acurate judgement
on his accomplishments as president. Their is little doubt, however, that the
image and philosphy, he brought to the oval office not only influenced the
generation he governed, but also continues to influence today\'s generation and
politics in general. Indeed, "Camelot", the name given to the idyllic
time during Kennedy\'s presidency, is not a dead mythology but a living idealogy
that continues in American society today. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (he latest
gained the nick name Jack) was born on May 29, 1917, in Brookline,

Massachusetts. He was Joseph & Rose Kennedy\'s second son. His father was a
multimillionaire businessman, who had became a bank president at the age of 25,
and made his fortune through investments in stocks, importing, shipbuilding, and
moviemaking. Joe Kennedy\'s political experince was limited to being appointed
the first chairman of the newly created Securities and Exchange Commission
(1934-1935) by president Franklin D. Roosevelt, and having served as the head of
the U.S. Maritime Commission (1937), as well as being the U.S. ambassador to

Great Britain (1937-1940). Even though Joseph Kennedy never ran for an elected
office himself, he and his wife had large ambitions for their nine children.

John Kennedy was groomed for a career in politics from an early age. Growing up

Kennedy was small for his age and suffered through several childhood diseases.

As a child he was quite and shy, a far cry from his personality traits in his
later years. During his childhood his older brother Joe helped and protected
him, and served as a role model for young Jack. From an early age the Kennedy
children were taught by their parents that the United States had been good to
the Kennedy\'s and that whatever the U.S. did for them must be returned by some
service to the country. Jack took this idea to heart. Later it became the basis
for a famous line from his inaguration speach in which Kennedy said: "Ask
not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your
country." In school Kennedy excelled in history and english, but was a poor
speller and struggled in math and science. Kennedy\'s sixth grade teacher noted
his humor and competitive spirit. Kennedy graduated from Choate High School in

Wallingford Connecticut and briefly attended Princeton University before
enrolling in Harvard in 1936. While attending Harvard Kennedy wrote a brilliant
honors thesis on British Foreign policies in the 1930s called "Why England

Slept", which was later published. He graduated in 1940 and was voted most
likely to suceed by his classmates. In 1941 Kennedy entered the the U.S. Navy
shortly before the United States entered World War II. Following Pearl Harbor he
applied for sea duty and became the commander of PT 109, a Navy torpedo boat. In

1943, while on active duty of the Pacific, the boat he commanded was rammed and
sunk by the Japanese. In an act of heroism, Kennedy rescued and lead his crew
ashore, but in doing so aggravated an old back injury and contracted malaria. He
was discharged from the Navy in 1945. Kennedy returned home to Boston from the
war with a citation for valor to began persuit of the political career his
parents had envisioned for him. In 1946, the rich and ambitious young veteran
joined the Democratic party and successfully ran for a Boston-based seat in the

U.S. House of Representatives. He was reelected to the seat in 1948 and 1950. As
a congressman Kennedy supported social legislation that benefited his
working-class constituents. It was during his tenure in congress that he began
to advocate a strong anti-communist foreign policy, which he continued to
promote for the remainer of his life. During this time Kennedy was especially
critical of what he considered a weak policy against communism, especially
communist China, by president Truman. Kennedy become restless in the House and
in 1952 ran for the U.S. Senate. He faced a strong opponent in the form of
republican incumbent senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.. Although the republican