Few presidents compare in life - and none in death - with the roguish and fun - loving but always cool - headed and clear - minded John F. Kennedy. At 43 the youngest man as well as the first Roman Catholic to be elected president, he invigorated the American people as no political leader since FDR.
He set fourth the broad proposals of the New Frontier: civil rights legislation, tax reform, aid to the needy and acceleration of the space program.
As both a Massachusetts congressman and a U.S. Senator, John Kennedy learned whatever skills of infighting and deal - making that were not inborn. In 1960 he became the Democrat nominee for president on the first ballot. Then, in a series of televised national debates, he became the first candidate to use the power of television to his advantage.
As president, he oversaw the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba but then won a game of Russian roulette in the Cuban Missile Crisis by ordering a blockade of the island and demanding the Soviets remove their missiles.
On November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas as he rode in an open car beside his wife, Kennedy became the first U.S. president to be killed in office since McKinley.