By the time of his assassination in 1963, John F. Kennedy stood at the helm of the greatest power the world had ever seen, a booming American nation that he had steered through some of the most perilous diplomatic standoffs of the Cold War.
Born in 1917 to a striving Irish American family that had become among Boston’s wealthiest, Kennedy knew political ambition from an early age, and his meteoric rise to become the youngest elected president cemented his status as one of the most mythologized figures in American history.
Fredrik Logevall is Laurence Belfer Professor of International Affairs and professor of history at Harvard University. He has spent much of the last decade searching for the “real” JFK. His new book is "JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956."