President Kennedy as a Famous and Controversial Figure in History
A) Although he was one of the most famous American Presidents in
history, Kennedy was also one of the most controversial.
He was famous for being the youngest American President ever to be
elected into office, beginning his term at the age of only 44. His
youth and character gave him the image of vigour and charisma which
helped him to win the election against Nixon. However, his youth also
made him controversial and many Americans worried about his lack of
experience; especially when it came to leading America during the Cold
War with the Soviet Union. Many felt that he wasn't wily enough to
play the Soviets at their own game.
He was also famous for being the first Roman Catholic President ever
elected. But this also made him controversial as many Protestants (who
held the majority in America) questioned whether he would draw his
authority from Rome or from Capitol Hill in Washington. Although
Kennedy said that he felt religion and politics should be kept
separate many American Protestants especially in the Deep South or the
"Bible Belt" of America were suspicious that he would only look out
for Catholics. This gave Kennedy even more trouble trying to pass some
of his bills in Congress, especially those that concerned Catholics or
He and his family were famous for the rumour of the "Kennedy Curse".
This grew up around the mysterious circumstances of many of his family
members' deaths including Kennedy's own assassination.
Although Kennedy was famous for his friendship with the American
singer Frank Sinatra; Sinatra' mafia links linked in with the
controversy over the Kennedy family's reputed links to the Chicago
Mafia or "the Firm". This was an organised crime syndicate which
carried out all sorts of illegal criminal activity including murder
and drug trafficking. JFK's father Joe had links to bootleggers in the
1920s Prohibition Era (where alcohol was banned) who supplied illegal
alcohol in underground bars. There were even rumours that Joe himself
was a criminal and became rich on the back of the American Depression
(by selling company shares before they collapsed) and through his own
illicit dealings with the Chicago Mafia. In particular, he was
rumoured to have links to the Mafia Don Sam Giancana or "Momo". It was
also rumoured that the mafia helped to get Kennedy elected in a very
close election (Kennedy won by a 1% majority) by swinging union votes
his way. This was on the "understanding" that when Kennedy got into
office he would be "their man". However, when Kennedy became President
he turned his back on the Mafia and organised a big crack down on
organised crime in America, perhaps in an attempt to sever his links
with the organisation.
Kennedy was also famous for being...