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The Killer of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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The Killer of John Fitzgerald Kennedy

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on May

29, 1917, the second of the nine children of Joseph Patrick Kennedy

and his wife, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Kennedy’s Irish ancestors had

immigrated to Boston and his grandfather, Patrick J. Kennedy, was a

Boston political leader as well as a successful businessman and

saloonkeeper. His maternal grandfather, John F. Fitzgerald was the

mayor of Boston, popularly known as “Honey Fitz”. The Kennedy’s lived

in a modest but comfortable frame house, but as the family grew, so

did their father’s fortune. Joseph Kennedy had become quite wealthy by

the time he was 30 making his fortune in stock-market speculation,

motion pictures, shipbuilding and real estate. He also would hold

several appointive positions in the federal government during the

Roosevelt administration, and his driving ambition was to put a son in

he White House.

Kennedy’s childhood was happy, even though he was always in the shadow

of his older brother Joseph, who dominated family competitions and was

a better student. Young Kennedy also was a frail child, with prolonged

illnesses that kept him from school. But despite his frequent

illnesses, Kennedy was a good athlete. At 13, young Kennedy attended

the private Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut. He became

ill and never returned, graduating from Choate Preparatory School in

Wallingford, Connecticut in 1935. After spending that summer studying

at the London School of Economics, he entered Princeton University,

but again illness forced him home during the Christmas recess because

of an attack of jaundice. He resumed his studies in the fall of 1936

at Harvard University, where he continued to be an easygoing student,

concentrating on swimming and with his brother Joe, won the

intercollegiate sailing title. Kennedy made two more trips to Europe

in 1937 and in 1939 when his father was serving as the United States

Ambassador to Great Britain. Kennedy graduated cum laude from Harvard

in 1940, and he used his undergraduate thesis as the basis for a book
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