Young Jack Kennedy rare color portrait.
A revealing photo shows the men behind young JFK in his bid to succeed
in politics. His father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., stands directly behind,
while John F. (Honey Fitz) Fitzgerald, a colorful politician and JFK's
grandfather, is beside.
1946 - Pounding the pavement in Boston. Left - John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
war hero and great-grandson of Irish immigrants, campaigns for a seat
in the U.S. Congress during Boston's Bunker Hill Day parade. Right -
Without breaking stride, Jack accepts a bouquet of flowers from an admirer.
Left - A typical campaign stop in a small hall, crammed full of supporters
and the curious. Mid - On voting day, JFK votes with his grandparents,
the Fitzgeralds. Right - All smiles after the victory, a sweep, for
young Jack Kennedy over eight other candidates.
After his victory, Jack took some time off to relax at the family's
summer home in Hyannis Port, Mass. Right - Brother Ted helps Jack raise
the sail on the little sailboat.
In Washington, the new U.S. Congressman from the 11th Congressional
District, 29-year-old John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Massachusetts. Jack
was easily re-elected to the seat in 1948 and 1950.
1948 family photos. Left - At the Kennedy home in Palm Beach, Florida,
Pat, Ted and cousin Joe Gargan decorate the family Christmas tree and
show off Bobby's knee for the camera. Mid - Bobby makes a spectacular
catch during a game of touch football, a Kennedy tradition. Right -
At Hyannis Port, the Kennedy brothers, Jack, Bobby and Ted.
Left - Congressman Kennedy on an inspection tour of the Boston waterfront.
Right - In 1951, JFK (in rear) in Vietnam on a fact finding tour with
the French. Kennedy was critical of U.S. support of the French there,
saying, "We have allied ourselves to the desperate effort of a
French regime to hang on to the remnants of empire."
1952 - The rising young politician gets the nod of approval from President
Harry Truman, despite Truman's great dislike for Joe Kennedy Sr. Regarding
Jack, Truman declares, "There is little doubt of the great political
future in store for Kennedy."
By this time, Jack is bored by the dull routine
of Congress with its rigid seniority system and has set his sights on
the U.S. Senate. His family rallies behind him in an all-out effort
against stiff odds to defeat Republican incumbent Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge
Jr., a Boston Yankee - a class of people who could trace their lineage
back to the Mayflower Ship and were blatantly proud of it.
The 1952 Senate campaign. Left - Jack's sisters, Pat and Eunice go
door-to-door handing out bumper stickers. Another successful tactic was
a series of afternoon teas, 35 in all, hosted by Jack's mother, Rose.
Mid - Rose introduces Jack to the audience of women. Right - After back
surgery, Jack continued the campaign while in pain and on crutches.
In his boyhood and throughout his young life,
Jack Kennedy suffered from an incredible number of health problems including;
scarlet fever, diphtheria, appendicitis, malaria, jaundice, hepatitis,
adrenal insufficiency, irritable stomach, a hearing problem (left ear),
pet allergy (dogs), and chronic back pain. Despite it all, to the
public he later defined the look of vibrant American youth, a huge accomplishment,
due largely to Jack's sheer will power in overcoming his health problems.
In Washington, the new junior Senator from Massachusetts. During the
successful campaign, run by his brother Bobby, Jack shook 750,000 hands.
On election night, Kennedy supporters sweated as the first disappointing
election returns came in and it wasn't until 5 a.m. the next morning
when they knew Jack had pulled off the upset.
1955 - Senator Kennedy at his desk after another ordeal of back surgery
and a lengthy hospital stay and recovery during which he produced Profiles
in Courage. The book examined the lives of eight outstanding past U.S.
Senators and went on to win the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for biography, greatly
enhancing Jack's reputation.
During Jack's stay in the hospital, the Senate
voted to censure Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the instigator of a nationwide
panic regarding alleged communists in the U.S. government. Jack was absent and
never cast a vote, leading to lingering criticism of his actions in
not recording a vote later and in not hopping onto the bandwagon and publicly
condemning McCarthy. Jack's family had ties to McCarthy. Bobby had briefly
served on his staff and McCarthy had been a guest at Hyannis Port.
Daily business. Left - Attending a committee meeting with crutches
placed behind him. Right - Stretched out on the sofa in Sen. Hubert
Of the many committees Jack served on, the Select
Committee of the Senate to Investigate Improper Activities in Labor-Management
Relations caught the public's attention as Jack, with younger brother
Robert as chief legal counsel, investigated racketeering among labor
union officials. Jack then sponsored a labor bill aimed at eliminating
criminal practices in unions.
Left - Around the table, a gathering of politicians includes JFK and
his future vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson. Mid - During a tour of
Strategic Air Command's underground command post, Jack gets briefed.
Right - The Senator's young wife, Jackie, makes an appearance at a Washington
function. Married to JFK in 1953, her movie star looks and extraordinary
charm were a huge political asset.
Left - Enjoying a joke with Vice President Richard Nixon and Boxing
Champ Rocky Marciano. Right - Jack sought the political support of feisty former
first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, but she scolded him for not condemning
Jack was reelected to the Senate by the people of the Massachusetts
with 73.6 percent of the vote in 1958. Senator Kennedy, politically matured
now, had already tasted national politics, almost getting the nod to
be vice president at the 1956 Democratic convention. When Kennedy is
told he will easily get that post in 1960, he responds, "I'm not
running for the vice-presidency anymore. I'm running for the presidency."
JFK Photo History
Early Years | War
Hero | Politician | President