America Loved This President: His Special Charisma First Blossomed on the Campaign Trail

updated 11/28/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/28/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

It was 1960, and Kennedy, at 43, was running for President. He was vibrant and witty, a tousle-haired Massachusetts Senator with a beautiful young wife. During the campaign he brought new life to an obscure word in the American political lexicon: charisma. The excitement John Kennedy brought to politics was something altogether different from the popular, amiable Ike. JFK never wore a hat, and he loved to soak up the energy from crowds. And the crowds loved him: They cheered him in his open limousine as he edged through city streets. In the end, of course, he was killed in a public place—Dealey Plaza in Dallas. And today those images—the open limousine, the candidate turning to face a warm-hearted throng, the jaunty wave—seem archaic. But, as the photographs on these pages prove, they are part of the enduring legacy left by the 35th President of the United States.

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