January 23, 2012
JACK KENNEDY: ELUSIVE HERO, SECOND SON
Knoxville, TN (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 reports on the 1st chapter of Chris Matthews’ new book published by Simon & Schuster, Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero.
CHAPTER ONE: SECOND SON
Chris tells us that it is “important to know” that it was not Jack, the 2nd son, but Joe Jr., the 1st son, who was expected by his parents to be “what they long(ed) to be.”
While Jack Kennedy had a hard act to follow as Joe Jr. became the perfect son his parents expected, unlike Joe Jr, “there was a lightness to (Jack), a wry Irishness that blended with the WASP manner rather than aspiring to it.”
Chris tells us that at Choate (prep school) Jack Kennedy’s “great success was to find ways to have fun.”*
*I remember, in a documentary made after JFK’s death, the pro football star quarterback Johnny Unitas describing Jack as a “fun-loving guy”.
Chris says it was the solitude of Jack’s many hospital stays that made him “crave for company” & that “new people…energized him (& brought out) his…wit & charm.”
At the end of Chapter 1, Chris writes that “perhaps the most significant legacy from Choate” was when headmaster George St. John told his students during an evening chapel:
“As has often been said, the youth who loves his alma mater will always ask not ‘what can she do for me?’ but ‘what can I do for her?”*
Does this sound vaguely familiar?
*George St. John was headmaster at Choate from 1908 to 1947. Chris Matthews was shown the headmaster’s notebook which contains this quote.
Choate Rosemary Hall
JFK’S ACADEMIC RECORD AT CHOATE
JFK attended Choate, located in Wallingford, Connecticut, from 1931 to 1935.
His academic record there is described as “unimpressive.”
JFK graduated in the 3rd quarter of his class, earning 62 in Physics & 85 in History.
Joe Kennedy, Sr. wrote of his 2nd son….“Jack has a brilliant mind for the things in which he is interested, but is careless & lacks application in those in which he is not interested.”*
*Source: “JFK at Choate”
by Blythe Gorssberg