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Why is J. F. Kennedy such a famous and controversial figure today?

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GCSE Coursework Q1 Why is J. F. Kennedy such a famous and controversial figure today? J. F Kennedy is a famous and controversial figure today for many reasons, not least because of the mystery surrounding his assassination. Over forty years on many continue to be fascinated by the endless conspiracy theories about his death. His life although short, (he died at 46) has continued to intrigue numerous people. Many aspects of his life were special; he was the first Irish Roman Catholic president and also the youngest. He became president at a time when it was possible to know what was going on in America, with television becoming more available and accessible. He was a handsome young man who married a beautiful, glamorous woman that many aspired to, interest grew in their very glamorous lives, which was much photographed and televised. I will illustrate many aspects of his life. Family and childhood, war hero, glamorous celebrity, supporter of black civil rights, numerous scandals and finally his death all which lead to him becoming one of the most famous and controversial men in modern history. In one of John F Kennedy's speeches on black civil rights he used the quote "The law must be colour blind". ...read more.


However the controversy comes in when we look at his public persona as being a cover for a very different man. The family man image was a propaganda tool used by his administration to hide his involvement with numerous scandals, most famous of all his affair with Marilyn Monroe. Parallels can be drawn today between John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton, both of Irish decent with 'family man' images but both involved in scandals involving other women. John F Kennedy was involved in one of the most serious and controversial moments in history, the world was on the brink of nuclear war. On October 16th 1962 Kennedy was informed that nuclear missile sites had been established in Cuba (a communist island 90km from the coast of Florida). After having decided against a full invasion, or an air strike (both which would have resulted in war). Kennedy set a naval blockade around Cuba, which would prevent Soviet ships, known to be carrying missiles from reaching Cuba. The blockade was successful, in the end Khrushev (the Russian leader) backed down and withdrew from Cuba. Kennedy's Secretary of State later said, " The two sides stood 'eyeball to eyeball' and Kennedy did not blink". ...read more.


Jack Ruby was thought to have mafia links. In conclusion I would say that the reason why John F Kennedy is still such a famous and controversial figure today is because people continue to be intrigued by his life and his death. In life he lived the American dream, making it to the top and becoming an icon of the sixties. In death he was surrounded by mystery and grief. Many famous people, who die young, remain forever young in our minds and when you add that to the mysterious circumstances of his death you have a life story that goes on and on. There was an enormous out pouring of grief for John F Kennedy at the time of his death, indeed people still remember where they where when they heard he was shot. Today, a parallel could be easily drawn between John F Kennedy and Princess Diana, the huge public out cry of grief, conspiracy theories and the tragedy of dying young. Icons like Diana and John F Kennedy will always remain famous and controversial by the very fact that they lived the dream and died whilst at the height of their fame and popularity. Philippa Davidson 12p ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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