“Land of the free, home of the brave”, the United States has stood amongst the most powerful and influential countries of the world for decades and decades. In order to maintain said reputation, the country needs a leader just as strong and influential. In the early 1960s the United States had a leader who was a leader among leaders and had the respect of an entire nation. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President, who took office on January 20, 1961- but before that Kennedy was a World War II hero, a United States Senator, and published a book titled Profiles of Courage which won him a Pulitzer Prize (www.famouspeople.com). John F. Kennedy possessed traits that allowed him to guide the country through three major geopolitical events that could have been disastrous if a lesser man was the leader of the free world. John Fitzgerald Kennedy went on to become the 35th president and faced conflicts with Cuba, Russia and Vietnam but it was his experience before becoming President which have him the leadership skills manage the country.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29th, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, a small town outside of Boston, to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald. . It is said that when Kennedy was born his parents asked for prayers from their church because his health was poor- he was given final rights on five separate occasions by the family priest (Ward, 2005). Kennedy had many health issues ranging from back problems- that required back surgery- to early warning signs of leukemia. Kennedy would deal with illness his entire life. Joseph Kennedy was an ambitious man; he traded stocks on Wall Street and soon moved the family to New York to be closer to his business. Joseph sold most of his stock right before the crash and made more money than the family ever had.
Kennedy attended both Harvard and Yale University, where he specialized in International Relations, a discipline of Political Science; he also attended a school for economics in England. After enrolling in business school in Stanford, in 1940, “Jack [John Kennedy] publicly registered for the first peacetime draft in US history and his number was the 18th drawn” (Ward, 2005); he did not pass the Army’s physical and spent an entire summer working on his physical condition and health. Kennedy used his father’s political influence to get him into the Navy. In the mind of Kennedys, the United States Navy was the “ivy league” of the military branches and sticking with his families urge to maintain public image, he did not want to enlist in the Army.
From a young age, Kennedy showed strong leadership skills; he led by example. As a training officer, on one of the PT boats he commanded, they became stuck on ground and wanted to know what was under there, “rather than send somebody else over the side, he went over himself. He didn't say to the executive officer, ‘You go over and look.’ He did it himself. He knew there are certain dangers in going over it” (Wood,...