Kennedy was educated at Harvard. During 1939, he spent time working for his father, Joseph, who was then ambassador to Great Britain. His observations from that period were outlined in his first book, Why England Slept (1940). He entered the war as a lieutenant and served in the Pacific and was commended for his heroism. After the war, Kennedy entered politics and was elected to Congress in 1947. In 1956, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, Profiles of Courage. He became a senator in 1953 where he served until he was made Democratic candidate for President in 1960. In the race against Richard Nixon, Kennedy was elected by the narrowest margin since 1884, and as such became the first Catholic president and also the youngest ever elected. Kennedy's administration favored the new over tradition and his cabinet contained many young and talented people. The highlights of his administration were the Bay of Pigs fiasco of 1961, in which a plan developed by the CIA under Eisenhower of an assault on Cuba was a resounding disaster; the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 when Russia had armed Cuba with long-range missiles and Kennedy was forced to blockade Cuba and call for their removal - which the Russians eventually agreed to, provided the US did not invade Cuba; the Nuclear Test-Ban Treat of 1963, and the beginning of major civil rights initiatives that would be carried out after his death.
Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 23, 1963, after only three years in office. His assassination has been one of the most controversial subjects in modern American history.