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John F. Kennedy Essay

1214 words - 5 pages

The first Roman Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, fought through many hardships. Becoming the president at the age of 43, he went through many difficult trials to get that role due to his religion and health. Although he died early, he still managed to go beyond his presidential duties and accomplished a lot during his short term.
John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. Ever since he was little, he has had very poor health. He suffered from a variety of diseases and conditions such as mumps, German measles, chicken pox, infections, and repeated bronchitis. When he was three, he almost died from scarlet fever. At the age of fourteen, he only weighed one-hundred seventeen pounds and had such a thin face that his classmates at Choate, an exclusive prep school in Connecticut, called him “Rat Face.” As if his health condition wasn't enough trouble, he also had problems focusing on his studies. He was the type of person who always had his head in a book dreaming about adventures or big historical figures. He also had problems passing science and foreign language classes, although he had a much easier time with English and history courses.
With the help of his very supportive family, he managed to get through his problems. His family consisted of his parents, Rose and Joseph “Joe” Patrick Kennedy Sr., and his eight other siblings, Eunice, John F., Rosemary, Jean, Joseph Jr., Edward, Patricia, Robert F., and Kathleen. He was especially close to his older brother, Joe, and was always striving to be better than him to get out of Joe's shadow. In 1954, he married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island. He had two kids: a daughter named Caroline and a son named John(source 2).
After working in Congress for thirteen years, Kennedy decided to run for president. His chief rival for nomination was Hubert Humprey from Minnesota. At the Democratic National Conventional held in Los Angeles in early July, Kennedy defeated Lyndon B. Johnson, the Senate majority leader, on the first ballot. He then invited his rival, Lyndon B. Johnson, to be his running mate(source 4).
Kennedy faced many problems running for president. He was only 43 when he ran for presidency, so many were worried about his lack of experience. There were also many concerns about his religion. Non-Catholics often worried that, as a Catholic, Kennedy would listen to the pope and that the pope would basically be running the country. Choosing to face the issues head-on, he gave a series of speeches made to address any uncertainties about his faith and led Protestant clergy in Houston, letting himself be questioned about his views on church-state relations. He also won over many voters in Wisconsin, which was predominantly Protestant, to show that his Catholicism was no obstacle to his being elected in a largely Protestant country. In order to deflect the worries of his young age and inexperience, he...

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