John F. Kennedy is a household name when you’re talking about previous American presidents. There are many reasons why his legacy has persisted in modern-day America. The specifics depend on who you ask. All the same, though, his life as president was characterized by dramatic occasions, before he was finally assassinated while riding in an open presidential limousine. Below are 6 interesting facts about John Kennedy that you might not have known.
I. He Had Four Children with Jackie
John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie had four children. Most Americans tend to think that President Kennedy had two children ever, Caroline and John, Jr. In 1956, Jackie gave birth to a stillborn girl that the couple decided to name Arabella. In 1963, another child, named Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, was born five and a half weeks earlier. The newborn baby weighed less than five pounds. He died after two days following a pulmonary disease. The bodies of these two children were taken to Arlington National Cemetery to be next to their father in 1963 after he was assassinated.
II. He Was Medically Disqualified from the Army
Just before the United States plunged into World War II, Kennedy tried to enlist in the military. His intestinal and back problems wouldn’t let him, though. He failed physical examinations for both the Navy and Army officer candidate schools. However, through his father’s connections, Kennedy was finally admitted to the Navy in 1941 (October). He was a commanding officer of PT-109, where he became a war hero after helping his team members survive the gunboat’s sinking in 1943.
III. John F. Kennedy Won a Pulitzer Prize
Kennedy wrote his first book, titled ‘Why England Slept’, at the age of 22. In 1945, he served as a newspaper correspondent covering the UN conference in San Francisco, and the aftermath of the War in Europe. The 1957 Pulitzer Prize for biography went to Kennedy due to his work ‘Profiles in Courage’.
IV. He Suffered from Constant Poor Health
Kennedy suffered from poor health throughout his life. In fact, this situation was so bad that he received last rites three times before his presidency started. When traveling to England in 1947, Kennedy fell ill after a diagnosis of Addison’s disease. This is a rare condition that affects the adrenal glands. Doctors gave him just a year to live. On his way back to America, Kennedy’s situation got so bad that a pastor administered last rites. This happened again in 1951 after he caught an extremely high fever on his way to Asia. In 1954, he went into a comma following a surgical procedure to relieve his back problems.
V. He Went to Princeton
John F. Kennedy attended Princeton – briefly. He left Princeton after just two months, due to a gastrointestinal illness. Later, he transferred to Harvard.
VI. He Donated his Salaries
Kennedy’s congressional and presidential salary went to Charity. Of course, his father had built a family fortune, and the young Kennedy earned already earned a lot from trusts by the time he joined congress in 1947. When he was sworn into the White House, he became the richest man ever to take the oath of office.
Interesting? These are just a few of the key facts that outline the life of one of the most historical presidents in America!