Study Guide

John F. Kennedy Kennedy Clan

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Kennedy Clan

John F. Kennedy's political career began long before he was elected president. In fact, one could argue that his journey to the White House actually began long before he was even born, in the halls of Boston's State Building in 1892, when his maternal grandfather, John Fitzgerald, first took office as a Massachusetts state senator. Fitzgerald, the son of Irish immigrants, proved early in his career to be a natural politician and was nicknamed "Honey Fitz" for his geniality, charm, and manipulative skills. A popular verse from the 1890s went: "Honey Fitz can talk you blind / on any subject you can find / Fish and fishing, motorboats / Railroads, streetcars, getting votes."blank">Gloria Swanson in 1920 almost destroyed his marriage—he was also an unrelentingly smart political strategist who pushed his sons toward public office.

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