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The Two Youngest Presidents

May 20, 2013

John F. Kennedy was not as young as Theodore Roosevelt when the latter succeeded to the office of President after the death of McKinley, but he was the youngest to be elected President.  Theodore Roosevelt was a colonel in the U.S. Army during the Spanish-American War, and Kennedy was skipper of a PT Boat during World War II.  Both men did their best to get into the action.  Of JFK Peggy Noonan writes: “He didn’t pull strings to get out of the war, he pulled strings to get into the war.”  Both men were the victims of assassins.  Roosevelt was shot while campaigning in 1912.  He had a bullet in his chest, but he insisted on finishing his speech.  He survived the assassination attempt and lived another seven years.  Kennedy became the eighth President to die in office and the fourth to be killed by an assassin.  Since November 22, 1963 there have been other assassination attempts, but, thankfully, none of our Presidents since that date have died in office. 

Source for Peggy Noonan quote: Presidential Leadership, edited by James Taranto and Leonard Leo, p. 169.

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