14 Bizarre, Random Things Nobody Knows About John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy (JFK) has a serious claim on being one of the greatest US Presidents of all time, so it’s no surprise that JFK trivia is incredibly prevalent on the Internet. From its privileged origins to its tragic ending, the John F. Kennedy biography is well known by most Americans, and JFK's fame is actually great enough that his story is known worldwide. Still, the majority of writing on the subject of Kennedy’s life focuses on his presidency and his marriage to the formidable Jackie O, which ignores large portions of a truly extraordinary life.
JFK’s life before the Presidency was arguably more exciting than his time in the Oval Office. Kennedy was born into a large, wealthy, and influential family on May 29, 1917, and his journey only got more interesting from there. JFK became a war hero, a renowned author, and a legendary playboy long before he ever considered making a run for Washington, and all that life experience ensured that there would always be a bevy of interesting facts to learn about the man.
One Of JFK’s Girlfriends Had A Sultry Past... With Hitler
John F. Kennedy’s success with the ladies was more than legendary. While JFK’s dalliances with mega-stars like Marilyn Monroe are well known, one of his earliest trysts was a relationship with far more intriguing historical significance. While in his 20s and serving in the Navy, JFK began a romantic relationship with Inga Arvad, a Danish ex-beauty queen turned journalist. JFK was smitten with Arvad, but he wasn't the only historical figure to fall for her. Before the war, Arvad was one of only a few foreign reporters to land an interview with Adolf Hitler, and he was fond enough of her that she became his “personal guest” at the 1936 Olympic Games, watching with him in his private box. Hitler even referred to Arvad as the perfect specimen of "Nordic beauty." While there’s no guarantee that she and Hitler ever hooked up, the thought that Hitler and JFK could have bedded the same woman is amazing.
JFK Was Riddled With DiseasePhoto: Aaron Shikler / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
John F. Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected president, and his movie-star good looks certainly helped his popularity. However, despite outward appearances, JFK was not a healthy man. His health troubles were kept secret as his political career blossomed, but Kennedy suffered from Addison’s disease and hypothyroidism, which may have hinted at more serious underlying causes. These diseases, combined with chronic back pain, ensured that Kennedy was in almost constant pain, even as he displayed his confident smile to the nation. JFK was treated in all sorts of different ways for his ailments, including the use of animal hormones, steroids, and amphetamines.
Woody Harrelson’s Dad Once Confessed To Assassinating JFKPhoto: GabboT / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
The assassination of JFK is quite possibly the most famous presidential death of all time, and that’s led to it becoming a veritable staple of the nation’s popular culture and shared memory. With all of the media interest, it’s no surprise that countless individuals have been accused of being involved in the assassination, but it is surprising that so many have actually confessed to being part of it. One of the most intriguing people to say they had a hand in killing JFK was Charles V. Harrelson, the father of Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson. While serving prison time for a different murder, Charles confessed to the assassination on several occasions, but nobody takes his claims seriously as Lee Harvey Oswald is the generally accepted assassin.
JFK Was Given Last Rites On Three Separate Occasions Before His Presidency Had Begun
JFK’s assassination is an unforgettable American moment, but he almost didn't even make it to that point in his life. Before becoming president of the United States, Kennedy was given his last rites on three separate occasions when it was thought his death was imminent. Two of the incidents were related to complications from his Addison’s disease, which was thought to be likely fatal. Last rites were also administered in 1954, when Kennedy slipped into a coma due to an infection following corrective surgery for his back. All of these incidents were kept hidden from the public until long after Kennedy’s death.
JFK Published His First Book At 22 And Later Won The Pulitzer Prize
John F. Kennedy was already a rich man and a war hero by the end of World War II, but few know that he was also a published author. Kennedy wrote a historical tome for his college thesis that ended up being published when he was just 22. He later went on to be a newspaper correspondent, covering the tail end of WWII and keeping his writing aspirations alive even as he began to enter politics. JFK would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his book Profiles in Courage, although it has been disputed just how much of that book Kennedy actually wrote.
JFK Loaded Up On Cuban Cigars Before Putting A Cuban Trade Ban Into Effect
JFK’s battles with Cuba, which include the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, are perhaps the defining moments of his Presidency. However, that’s not to say that JFK hated absolutely everything about the island nation. When US-Cuban relations had soured to the point that JFK felt the need to enact a complete trade ban, he first made sure he wouldn't personally be missing out on Cuban exports. Kennedy ordered more than 1,200 Cuban cigars for his private collection just before the ban went into effect.