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John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, son of Joseph P. Kennedy. Graduate cum laude from Harvard in 1940. Served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy 1941 to 1945. In August 1943 his PT boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer and sunk. Kennedy received a back injury but led 10 of his crew to safety and rescue. Kennedy received the Purple Heart and was retired due to disability in April 1945. Employed as a newspaper correspondent in 1945.

Elected to the House of Representative and served January 3, 1947, to January 3, 1953. Married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier September 12, 1953. They had four children. Elected to the Senate serving January 3, 1953, to December 22, 1960.

Kennedy was nominated for 35th President in 1960. He debated his opponent, Richard Nixon, on television. Kennedy was elected and inaugurated January 20, 1961.

On November 22, 1962, Kennedy delivered a speech in Dallas, Texas. He was shot while riding in a motorcade and died shortly afterward. Officially the assassin has been identified as Lee Harvey Oswald although other theories remain.

Kennedy appears on a Presidential medal (USM 135) with dies by Frank Gasparro and Gilroy Roberts.

Kennedy appears on the Assay Commission medal for 1962 (AC-106). The obverse die was reduced from the regular presidential medal.

A new half dollar design was rushed into production following the assassination. The obverse design was by Gilroy Roberts. The reverse was by Gasparro. The Kennedy half has been issued since 1964.

bio: BDC; BDEB; ConAut; DAB; EAB; Failor; NCAB 52; WAB; WWWA-4

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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