John Fitzgerald Kennedy—or "Jack," as friends and family knew him—was born on 29 May 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, a quiet, affluent, tree-lined suburb of Boston. His parents, preoccupied with social status and legitimizing their place in Boston's high society, made a concerted effort to provide Jack and his siblings with the finest opportunities available. By all accounts, the Kennedy children enjoyed a privileged lifestyle that including sailing, summer homes on the coast, lavish meals, and upper-crust boarding schools. As a young man, Jack rarely carried cash, knowing that the family's accountant would settle all debts and balances privately.blank">Why England Slept. Thus Jack, the often-sick, often-average son, began to carve out his own identity as a scholar, author, and future politician.