John F. Kennedy Jr.
44th President of the United States
Assumed office:
January 20, 2009 -
Vice President: Barack H. Obama II
Preceded by: George W. Bush
Born: John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.

November 25, 1960 Washington, DC

Nationality: American
Political party: Democratic
Spouse: Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy (m. 1996).
Children: John F. Kennedy III (b. 2005) and Jacqueline Rose Kennedy (b. 2000).
Residence: White House (official)
Chappaqua, New York (private)
Alma mater: Georgetown University
Harvard Law School
Occupation: Lawyer
Religion: Roman Catholic

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. (born November 25, 1960) and often referred to as John F. Kennedy, Jr., JFK Jr., John Jr., John Kennedy or John-John, is the 44th and current Presdent of the United States. He is the son of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy. He was elected to the US Senate in New York in 2000 and served until his resignation in December 2008. In 2008, he was elected president defeating Senator John McCain in an electoral landslide 400 to 137.

Early years

John F. Kennedy Jr. was born at Georgetown University Hospital sixteen days following United States presidential election, 1960. The younger Kennedy was in the public spotlight from John F. Kennedy 1961 presidential inauguration. He has an older sister, Caroline Kennedy, and he had a younger brother, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy Patrick (who died two days after his birth in 1963). For most of the first three years of his life, he lived in the White House. His nickname "John-John" came from a reporter who misheard JFK calling him ("John" spoken twice in quick succession). Though he was often referred to publicly as "John-John", members of the Kennedy family themselves did not use the nickname.

On November 22, 1963, and three days later, on John Jr's third birthday, the State funeral of John F. Kennedy was held. In a moment that became an emotional and iconic image of the 1960s, young JFK Jr. stepped forward and rendered a final salute as the flag-draped casket was carried out from Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Following his father's assassination, Kennedy grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, and in 1968, his mother Jaqueline married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, whom she had met in the early 1950s. Their marriage lasted until Onassis' death in 1975, when John Jr. was fourteen years old.


Kennedy attended the Collegiate School in New York City from third through tenth grades, and later graduated from Phillips Academy (also known as Andover). Kennedy graduated from Brown University in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in History. During his studies at Brown, Kennedy was admitted to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and through that fraternity's Cornell University chapter, the Irving Literary Society.

After Brown, Kennedy took a working break, traveling to India and spending some time at the University of Delhi where he met Mother Teresa. He also worked with some of the Kennedy special interest projects, including the East Harlem School at Exodus House and Reaching Up. From 1984-1986 he worked for the New York City Office of Business Development. He served as deputy director of the 42nd Street Development Corporation in 1986. He also did a bit of acting during that time, an activity which had been one of his passions; he appeared in many plays while at Brown.

Generally considered handsome and athletic, Kennedy was dubbed People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1988, and was the only person so named who was not a working actor.

In 1989, Kennedy earned a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. He failed the New York bar exam twice before passing on the third try in July 1990. Kennedy then served as a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney's office for four years.

Public Career and Personal Life

In 1995, Kennedy founded George (magazine), a glossy politics-as-lifestyle monthly which sometimes took editorial aim even at members of his own family. He controlled 1 percent of the company's shares. After Kennedy's election to the US Senate in New York, the magazine was bought out by Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. Kennedy's ex-girlfriends include Jennifer Christian (his high school sweetheart at Andover); Sally Munro (his girlfriend at Brown; they dated for six years); Julie Baker (a model he dated in the late '80s on and off for a few years); Christina Haag (a Brown alumna and actress he'd had a crush on while there; they started dating in 1985 for a few years); and Ashley Richardson (a model and actress).

Kennedy married Carolyn Bessette on September 21, 1996, on Cumberland Island, Georgia. His older sister Caroline acted as the matron of honor and his cousin acted as best man. The couple's first child, Jacqueline Rose Kennedy, was born on October 7, 2000. The couple's second child, John F. Kennedy III, was born on May 5, 2005.

U.S. Senate Campaign

The long-serving United States Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, announced his retirement in November 1998. Several prominent Democratic figures, including Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, urged Kennedy to run for Moynihan's open seat in the United States Senate election of 2000. Kennedy expected to face Rudy Giuliani, the Mayor of New York City, as his Republican opponent in the election. However, Giuliani withdrew from the race in May 2000 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and having developments in his personal life become very public, and Kennedy instead faced Rick Lazio, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives representing New York's 2nd congressional district.

Kennedy began his campaign by visiting every county in the state, in a "listening tour" of small-group settings. During the campaign, he devoted considerable time in traditionally Republican Upstate New York regions. Kennedy vowed to improve the economic situation in those areas, promising to deliver 200,000 jobs to the state over his term. His plan included tax credits to reward job creation and encourage business investment, especially in the high-tech sector. She called for personal tax cuts for college tuition and long-term care. Kennedy received the endorsement of then President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore Jr.

The contest drew national attention as Kennedy was seeking the seat previously held by his late uncle Robert Kennedy. Lazio blundered during a September debate by seeming to invade Kennedy's personal space trying to get him to sign a fundraising agreement. The campaigns of Kennedy and Lazio, along with Giuliani's initial effort, spent a record combined $90 million. Kennedy won the election on November 7, 2000, with 70 percent of the vote to Lazio's 28 percent. He was sworn in as United States Senator on January 3, 2001.

United States Senate

Upon entering the Senate, Kennedy maintained a low public profile and built relationships with senators from both parties. He forged alliances with religiously inclined senators by becoming a regular participant in the Senate Prayer Breakfast.

Kennedy has served on five Senate committees: Committee on Budget (2001–2002), Committee on Armed Services (since 2003), Committee on Environment and Public Works (since 2001), Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (since 2001)[200] and Special Committee on Aging. He was also a Commissioner of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (since 2001).

Following the September 11, 2001, attacks, Kennedy sought to obtain funding for the recovery efforts in New York City and security improvements in his state. Working with New York's senior senator, Charles Schumer, he was instrumental in quickly securing $21 billion in funding for the World Trade Center site's redevelopment. He subsequently took a leading role in investigating the health issues faced by 9/11 first responders. Kennedy voted for the USA Patriot Act in October 2001. In 2005, when the act was up for renewal, he worked to address some of the civil liberties concerns with it, before voting in favor of a compromise renewed act in March 2006 that gained large majority support.

Kennedy strongly supported the 2001 U.S. military action in Afghanistan. Like his uncle, Edward Kennedy, Kennedy was a leading opponent in the Bush administration's war efforts against Iraq, and he voted against October 2002 Iraq War Resolution, which authorized United States President George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq, should such action be required to enforce a United Nations Security Council Resolution after pursuing with diplomatic efforts.

After the Iraq War began, Kennedy made trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit American troops stationed there. On a visit to Iraq in February 2005, Kennedy noted that the insurgency had failed to disrupt the democratic elections held earlier, and that parts of the country were functioning well. Noting that war deployments were draining regular and reserve forces, he cointroduced legislation to increase the size of the regular United States Army by 80,000 soldiers to ease the strain.

Presidential Campaign

On February 10, 2007, Kennedy announced his candidacy for president of the United States. A large number of candidates entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. The field narrowed to a duel between Kennedy and Senator John Edwards after early contests, with the race remaining close throughout the primary process but with Kennedy gaining a steady lead in pledged delegates due to better long-range planning, superior fundraising, dominant organizing in caucus states, and better exploitation of delegate allocation rules. On April 6, Kennedy earned enough delegates and was named the presumptive nominee.

Kennedy proceeded to focus on the general election campaign against Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, in the lead up to the Democratic National Convention. He announced on August 23, 2008, that he had selected freshman Illinois Senator Barack Obama as his vice presidential running mate. At the convention, held August 25 to August 28 in Denver, Colorado Kennedy delivered his acceptance speech to a crowd of over 75,000 at Invesco Field at Mile High and presented his policy goals; the speech was viewed by over 100 million people worldwide. During both the primary process and the general election, Kennedy's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations. On June 19, 2008, Kennedy became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976. After McCain was nominated as the Republican candidate, three presidential debates were held between the contenders spanning September and October 2008. On November 4, Kennedy won the presidency by winning 400 electoral votes to 137 that McCain received, in the process capturing 56.9% of the popular vote to McCain's 43.7%. Kennedy delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in New York City.


The inauguration of John F. Kennedy Jr. as the 44th President, and Barack Obama as Vice President, took place on January 20, 2009. In his first few days in office Kennedy issued executive orders and presidential memoranda directing the U.S. military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq and ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp "as soon as practicable and no later than" January 2010. Obama also reduced the secrecy given to presidential records and changed procedures to promote disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The president also reversed George W. Bush's ban on federal funding to foreign establishments that allow abortions

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