John F Kennedy JFK

Satisfactory Essays
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts. As the second of nine children, Kennedy was brought up in a Roman Catholic family that taught him the basic political principles of the Democratic Party. Throughout his life, John was a sick man. His frail health began since he was a child, with severe back pains that eventually forced him to undergo dangerous surgery in 1944, 1954, and 1955. He also suffered from Addison's disease, a withering of the adrenal glands. Shortly after becoming president, Kennedy had to have regular amphetamine injections in order to ease the pain, which were then thought to be harmless. According to some, both he and the first lady became heavily dependent on the weekly shots. Despite his illnesses, Kennedy's personality gave him the strength required to lead a political career that can be described as active, confident, and vigorous. I believe that Kennedy's presidential career illustrates a portrayal of a man of high self-esteem; a person who corrects his own mistakes and can adapt to many situations while still having his own set of well-defined personal goals that cannot be swayed. At age 29, Kennedy ran for Congress and received a huge majority of votes in the November election. After a few years however, he proved to be "too ambitious to stay in the Houses of Representatives." (Reeves, 2001) In 1952 John ran for the Senate against Henry Lodge and defeated him by 70,000 votes. An early sign of his high self-esteem came in 1954 when he was the only Massachusetts senator to stand up and support President Eisenhower's reciprocal-trade power, something that he believed was best for national interest. Prior to this, no Massachusetts congressman had ever voted for it over a period of twenty years. It is evident that Kennedy was able to adapt to the changing times when he fully exploited the new available medium to the public—television. During his campaign, Kennedy showed poise in front of the camera during the widely viewed televised debates between himself and Nixon. When he became president, John continued to use television to his advantage, in weekly-televised press conferences. Photographs of John and his wife Jacqueline also appeared on many magazine and newspaper covers. Jacqueline herself became quite the national trendsetter. The Kennedys became a national political symbol, and permanently glamorized the presidency. An example of Kennedy's inflexible set of values was his stance on communism and the "common enemies of man," as stated in his famous inaugural address.
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