John F. Kennedy: Short Biography and Quotes on Leadership

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John F. Kennedy is one of the most popular U.S presidents. His charisma, achievements, and tragedy had made him widely reported in magazines and newspapers. Unfortunately, he was assassinated two years after his presidential inauguration.


Kennedy came from a wealthy and big family who resided in Brookline, Massachusetts. His father was a politician and businessman, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and his mother was a philanthropist, Rose Kennedy.

Kennedy’s family lived in Brookline for ten years. Because of his father’s business, this family moved to Riverdale, New York City, in 1927.

However, they always spent their summers in Brookline. Meanwhile, during Easter and the end of the Year, they spent their holiday in Palm Beach, Florida.


While in Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy attended Edward Devotion School, Noble and Greenough Lower School, and Dexter School. Meanwhile, in New York, he was educated in Riverdale Country School. Also, he spent his 8 grade in Canterbury School, Connecticut.

However, because of appendectomy, Kennedy didn’t continue his education in Canterbury. Later, he started attending Choate in 1931.

As a Choate student, he didn’t show excellent academic achievements. Instead, he showed rebellious behavior, such as exploding a toilet seat. Moreover, he suffered from several health problems during his years in this school.

Kennedy continued his education to Princeton University in 1935. But, due to a certain illness, he didn’t continue his education in Princeton.

The next year, he was accepted at Harvard University. He graduated from this university successfully in 1940, and his thesis became a bestseller.


After graduating from university, Kennedy had some carrier achievements.

U.S. Navy Service

Actually, Kennedy wanted to join the army after graduating from university. However, he was disqualified due to his health condition. Then, he joined the U.S. navy in 1941, especially in the Office of Naval Intelligence. His carrier in the navy went smoothly, and he was promoted to lieutenant junior grade in 1942.

The next year, he was assigned to command PT-109, a patrol torpedo boat. His boat was attacked by a Japanese warship that August. As a result, he was badly injured because of this attack.

Congressman and Senator

In 1946, Kennedy ran for the U.S. House of the representative election. He won the election easily because of his image as a war hero and his family’s wealth and connections.

However, he thought that his job in congress was boring. Therefore, he was in Congress for only three terms.

After that, he ran for the senate election. With his father’s wealth and the help of his brother, Robert Kennedy, as a campaign manager, he won this election.

It was when he was a senator that he met Jacqueline Bouvier. They married in 1953 and had three children, i.e., Caroline, John Jr., and Patrick.


After eight years in the Senate, Kennedy ran for the presidency and had Richard Nixon as his opponent. He won a narrow victory and inaugurated as the 35th U.S. president in January 1961.


Kennedy was having a political trip to Dallas when he was assassinated. He got one shot in his back and one in his head. It happened on November 22, 1963. Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of murder. However, he was then killed by Jack Ruby.

John F. Kennedy was a charismatic man. He was not always serious about his education. However, his ambition to achieve something bigger finally brought him into the presidency.

Here are John F. Kennedy Quotes as Inspiration about Leadership:

24 Inspirational Quotes about Leadership from John F. Kennedy 

1. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
~ John F. Kennedy

2. “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” ~ John F. Kennedy

3. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to one another.” ~ John F. Kennedy

4. “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
~ John F. Kennedy

5. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy

6. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John F. Kennedy

7. “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” ~ John F. Kennedy

8. “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” ~ John F. Kennedy

9. “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” ~ John F. Kennedy

10. “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” ~ John F. Kennedy


11. “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.” ~ John F. Kennedy

12. “If not us, who? If not now, when?” ~ John F. Kennedy

13. “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” ~ John F. Kennedy

14. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” ~ John F. Kennedy

15. “I would rather be accused of breaking precedents than breaking promises.” ~ John F. Kennedy

“The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” ~ John F. Kennedy

16. “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” ~ John F. Kennedy

17. “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” ~ John F. Kennedy

18. “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” ~ John F. Kennedy

19. “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” ~ John F. Kennedy

20. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” ~ John F. Kennedy

21. “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” ~ John F. Kennedy

22. “Life is never easy. There is work to be done and obligations to be met – obligations to truth, to justice, and to liberty.” ~ John F. Kennedy

23. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” ~ John F. Kennedy

24. “We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.” ~ John F. Kennedy

We can imitate the spirit of success from John F. Kennedy.

But in running your life, keep guided by the guidance of Allah SWT and the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

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