John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) was of Irish descent and born in Brookline, Massachusetts on the 29th of May 1917 ("John F. Kennedy," 2003). He was born into a very well to do family. From humble beginnings, his father, Joseph P. Kennedy, had accumulated a large fortune at a relatively early age and had gone on to become one of this country's most financially elite.
JFK graduated from Harvard in 1940 and shortly thereafter joined the U.S. Navy serving with distinction in World War II. In 1943, when his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, JFK, despite severe injuries, led the survivors to safety ("John F. Kennedy," 2003). Following his service in the Navy, he returned home and soon after entered politics becoming a Congressman from his native Boston area. In 1953 he advanced to the U.S. Senate and married Jacqueline Bouvier the same year.
JFK's political ascension was very fast. By 1956 he had received such notoriety within the Democratic Party that he almost gained the party's nomination for Vice President. In 1960 he was a "first-ballot" nominee for President ("John F. Kennedy," 2003). He would go on to win the election of 1960 by a narrow popular vote becoming the first Roman Catholic President. Barely past his first 1000 days in office he was assassinated while visiting Dallas Texas. While he became the youngest man to ever be elected President, his assassination also gained him the dubious distinction of being the youngest to die in office.
JFK served as President during a period that historians have defined as the "Cold War." Beginning with the Yalta Conference in 1945 ("The Cold War Begins," 2003) and ending with the fall of the Soviet Empire in 1991 ("Fall of the Soviet Union," 2003), the Cold War was a period of intense political pressure and appeared, ostensibly, to be a "conflict" between two superpowers caused by the aggression of one (The Soviet Union) in which the other (The United State...