John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he won the U.S. presidential election in 1960, becoming the youngest man to be elected to the office. His life was cut short by an assassin's bullet in 1963.
Kennedy survived myriad health problems as a child, including scarlet fever. In this 1927 photo, JFK -- known as "Jack" -- is 10 years old.
JFK came from a large, prominent Irish Catholic family, seen here at their summer home in Hyannis, Massachusetts, in the 1930s. He had eight brothers and sisters. Seated from left are Robert, Edward, father Joseph Sr., Eunice, Rosemary and Kathleen. Standing from left are Joseph Jr., JFK, mother Rose, Jean and Patricia.
Kennedy attended Choate boarding school in Connecticut, where he was popular and played a variety of sports. He's pictured here on the school's football team at age 16. He graduated and entered Harvard University in 1936.
Kennedy enlisted in the military shortly after graduating from Harvard in 1939. As a Navy lieutenant in World War II, Kennedy commanded a torpedo boat in the South Pacific and survived a harrowing crash with a Japanese vessel that killed two of his men. He later earned a medal for rescuing most of his crew. His older brother Joe died in the war on a separate mission.
After some convincing by his father, JFK decided to run for U.S. Congress, representing Massachusetts' 11th district. He won in 1946 and served three terms before winning a Senate seat in 1952.
In September 1953, shortly after becoming a U.S. senator, Kennedy, then 36, married 24-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier, a writer with the Washington Times-Herald.
Kennedy was sworn into office as the 35th President on January 20, 1961. Kennedy was not only the youngest man elected President, but he was also the first Catholic elected President.
Kennedy and his wife stand at the 1960 inauguration with his parents on the left. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, are on the right. During his inaugural speech, Kennedy spoke these memorable words: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
The Kennedys moved into the White House with their two young children, John and Caroline. John is seen here shortly after his November 1960 birth. Caroline was 3.