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John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Birth: May 29, 1917
Norfolk County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Nov. 22, 1963
Dallas County
Texas, USA

US Congressman, US Senator, and US President. A member of the Democratic Party, he served in the US House of Representatives from Massachusetts's 11th district from January 1947 until January 1953, the US Senate from January 1953 until December 1960, and as the 35th US President from January 1961 until November 22, 1963 when he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. At the age of 43, he was the youngest to have been elected to the office, the second-youngest president (after Theodore Roosevelt), the only non-Protestant president, and the first person born in the 20th century to serve as president. The second of nine children, he was born into a wealthy Irish-Catholic family. His father, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr., was a successful businessman and political figure and his mother, Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy, was the oldest daughter of Boston Mayor and Massachusetts Congressman John Francis "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald. He lived in Brookline, Massachusetts up to the age of 10 and in 1927, the family moved to the Bronx borough of New York City, New York. He attended private schools in New York City and New Milford, Connecticut through the 8th grade. In September 1931 he was sent to The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, for his high school years, where his older brother, Joseph P. "Joe" Kennedy, Jr., was already attending. While there, he encountered health problems that culminated in 1934 with his emergency hospitalization at Yale - New Haven Hospital in Connecticut and in June 1934 he was admitted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and diagnosed with colitis. Kennedy graduated from Choate in June 1935 and the following September, he traveled with his parents to London, England, to study at the London School of Economics. The next month he became ill and was forced to return home, and he enrolled at Princeton University in New Jersey. He was then hospitalized for observation at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and recovered at the Kennedy winter home in Palm Beach, Florida. In the spring of 1936, he and his older brother worked as a ranch hands on the "Jay Six" cattle ranch outside of Benson, Arizona. The following September he enrolled at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and graduated in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in international affairs and then enrolled that fall at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California. In September 1941, after medical disqualification by the Army for his chronic lower back problems, he joined the US Navy, with the influence of the director of the Office of Naval Intelligence, former naval attaché to Joseph Kennedy. Kennedy was an ensign serving in the office of the Secretary of the Navy when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. He attended the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps and then voluntarily entered the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center in Melville, Rhode Island. He was assigned duty in Panama and later in the Pacific theater, where he earned the rank of lieutenant, commanding a patrol torpedo (PT) boat. On August 2, 1943, his boat, PT-109, along with PT-162 and PT-169, were performing nighttime patrols near New Georgia in the Solomon Islands, when PT-109 was rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. He gathered his surviving crew members together in the water around the wreckage, to vote on whether to "fight or surrender." Opting not to surrender, the men swam towards a small island. Despite re-injuring his back in the collision, he towed a badly burned crewman through the water with a life jacket strap clenched between his teeth. He towed the wounded man to the island, and later to a second island, from where his crew was subsequently rescued. For these actions, he received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. He returned to the US in January 1944, treated for his back injury, and was released from active duty in late 1944 and honorably discharged early the following year. In May 1945 he became a special correspondent for Hearst Newspapers, covering the Potsdam Conference in occupied Germany and other events. In 1946 he ran on the Democratic ticket as the representative from the 11th Congressional district in Massachusetts, defeating his Republican opponent by a large margin. He served as a congressman for six years. In 1952 he ran on the Democratic ticket for the Massachusetts US Senate seat and defeated incumbent Republican Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. The following year, he married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. Over the next two years, he underwent several spinal operations. Often absent from the Senate, he was at times critically ill and received Catholic last rites. During his convalescence in 1956, he published "Profiles in Courage," (co-authored with his close advisor and speechwriter Ted Sorensen), a book about U.S. Senators who risked their careers for their personal beliefs, and which received the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1957. In 1958 he was easily re-elected to a second term in the US Senate. On January 2, 1960 he initiated his campaign for the US President and received the nomination on July 13, 1960 at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California. He chose Texas Senator Lyndon B. Johnson as his running mate to help him gain the popular vote in the South. In September and October 1960, he appeared with Republican candidate Richard Nixon, then Vice President, in the first televised US presidential debates in history. The television audience favored Kennedy as the winner while the radio audience either thought Nixon had won or that the debates were a draw. The debates are now considered a milestone in American political history, the point at which the medium of television began to play a dominant role in politics. His campaign gained momentum after the first debate, and he pulled slightly ahead of Nixon in most polls. On November 8, he defeated Nixon in one of the closest presidential elections of the 20th century. In the national popular vote, he led Nixon by just two-tenths of one percent (49.7% to 49.5%), while in the Electoral College he won 303 votes to Nixon's 219 (269 were needed to win). In his inaugural address, he spoke of the need for all Americans to be active citizens, famously saying, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Events during his presidency included the creation of the Peace Corps, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, by initiating Project Apollo (which would culminate in the moon landing), the building of the Berlin Wall, the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and early stages of the Vietnam War. In Vietnam, he increased the number of military advisers, special operation forces, and helicopters in an effort to curb the spread of communism in South East Asia. His administration adopted the policy of the Strategic Hamlet Program which was implemented by the South Vietnamese government, involving certain forced relocation, village internment, and segregation of rural South Vietnamese from northern and southern communist insurgents. The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world closer to nuclear war than at any point before or since. The crisis improved the image of American willpower and the president's credibility and his approval rating increased from 66 percent to 77 percent immediately thereafter. On June 26, 1963 while visiting West Berlin, Germany, he gave a public speech which is known for its famous phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner" ("I am a citizen of Berlin"). He ended the arms embargo on Israel imposed by the previous Truman and Eisenhower administrations and was the first US president to allow the sale of advanced US weaponry to Israel, as well as to provide diplomatic support for Israeli policies that were opposed by its Arab neighbors. In October 1963, after ratification by the US Senate, he signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the former Soviet Union. In September 1962 and June 1963 he intervened with federal force when black students were prevented from entering the University of Mississippi and the University of Alabama respectively. During his administration, the economy turned around and prospered, with gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by an average of 5.5 percent from early 1961 to late 1963, while inflation remained steady at around 1 percent and unemployment eased. Industrial production rose by 15 percent and motor vehicle sales rose by 40 percent. This rate of growth in GDP and industry continued until around 1969, and has yet to be repeated for such a sustained period of time. On November 22, 1963, while on a political trip to Dallas, Texas, he was assassinated by a sniper while riding in an open motorcade with his wife, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie. He was shot once in the throat, once in the upper back, with the fatal shot hitting him in the head. Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine and Soviet Union defector, was accused of the crime and arrested that evening, but Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed him two days later while he was being transferred from Dallas Police Headquarters to the Dallas County Jail, before a trial could take place. After a lengthy investigation, the FBI and the Warren Commission officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin. However, the US House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded that those investigations were flawed and that Kennedy was probably assassinated as the result of a conspiracy. To this day, many conspiracy theories exist on the circumstances surrounding his death. He was the brother of Joseph P. "Joe" Kennedy, Jr. (killed in a naval plane crash on a secret bombing mission during World War II), Rosemary Kennedy, Kathleen A. (Kennedy) Cavendish (died in a plane crash in France in 1948), Eunice M. (Kennedy) Shriver (married to US diplomat and politician Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr.), Patricia H. (Kennedy) Lawford (previously married to actor Peter Lawford), Robert F. "Bobby" Kennedy (former US Attorney General and US Senator from New York who was assassinated on June 6, 1968 while campaigning for the Democratic Presidential nomination), Jean (Kennedy) Smith (former US Ambassador to Ireland), and Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy (US Senator from Massachusetts). His daughter, Caroline Bouvier (Kennedy) Schlossberg, is currently (as of November 12, 2013) the US Ambassador to Japan. His son, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr., was a lawyer and magazine publisher who died in a private plane crash with his wife and her sister on July 16, 1999, near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Family links: 
  Joseph Patrick Kennedy (1888 - 1969)
  Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890 - 1995)
  Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (1929 - 1994)
  Arabella Kennedy (1956 - 1956)*
  John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1960 - 1999)*
  Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (1963 - 1963)*
  Joseph Patrick Kennedy (1915 - 1944)*
  John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 - 1963)
  Rose Marie Kennedy (1918 - 2005)*
  Kathleen Agnes Kennedy Cavendish (1920 - 1948)*
  Eunice Mary Kennedy Shriver (1921 - 2009)*
  Patricia Kennedy Lawford (1924 - 2006)*
  Robert Francis Kennedy (1925 - 1968)*
  Edward Moore Kennedy (1932 - 2009)*
*Calculated relationship
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 45 Grid U-35
GPS (lat/lon): 38.88155, -77.07146
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 574
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Added by: Bobb Edwards
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Added by: Bobb Edwards
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Added by: Richard Blunk
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