John F. Kennedy was born 102 years ago in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29. He was the 35th president of the United States, the first Catholic to hold the office, and ranks as one of the wealthiest presidents.
24/7 Wall St. has compiled 100 facts about President Kennedy from a number of sources, including the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston University Libraries, media sources such as The Atlantic magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and Time magazine, and online resources like history.com.
A mystique about JFK emerged because of his heroism during World War II, his health issues and, because his assassination was among the most famous in American history.
Historians have reassessed his time in office and taken a more critical view of his handling of crises such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, his decision to build up the U.S. military presence in South Vietnam, and the role he played in the civil rights movement.
Kennedy’s soaring oratory at his inauguration invigorated a nation, his inspirational speech in West Berlin lifted a demoralized people, and his civil rights address in June of 1963 ranks among the greatest speeches of the civil rights movement.
Kennedy continues to infuse American politics with the legacy of his public service nearly 56 years after his death, and historians rank him among the best American presidents.