After military service as commander of the Motor Torpedo Boats PT-109 and PT-59 during World War II in the South Pacific, Kennedy represented Massachusetts's 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat. Thereafter, he served in the U.S. Senate from 1953 until 1960. Kennedy defeated then Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election. He was the youngest elected to the office, at the age of 43, the second-youngest President (after Theodore Roosevelt), and the first person born in the 20th century to serve as president. Kennedy is the only Catholic president, and is the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize.Events during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement, and early stages of the Vietnam War.
Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the crime, but was shot and killed two days later by Jack Ruby before a trial could take place. The FBI, the Warren Commission, and theHouse Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin, with the HSCA allowing for the possibility of conspiracy based on disputed acoustic evidence. Today, Kennedy continues to rank highly in public opinion ratings of U.S. presidents.