Fifty years after his death, the presidency, and character and memory of John F. Kennedy has been covered and re-covered and burnished in television specials, articles and at least one extraordinary radio special that you’ll be hearing tomorrow on NHPR. With each retrospective comes the revival of the Kennedy myths…pictures of the sprawling family with their giant smiles, privilege…and no holds barred ambition.
But what made this charming man, the second born son who was not chosen to be president by his powerful father, into a politician who operated without guile?
Cari Beauchamp is the author of Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years and is currently serving as resident scholar of the Mary Pickford Foundation. She’s done a lot of research on the Kennedy family and posits that there are two major factors that contributed to the man Jack became.