JFK's Election: On 50th Anniversary, Never-Seen Photos Emerge

Fifty years ago today, John F. Kennedy won election to the White House, beating Richard Nixon by one-tenth of one percent. The youngest person and only Catholic ever elected president, Kennedy captured the imagination of Americans with this dashing good looks and beautiful wife, Jackie. While his 1,000 days in office are well-documented, LIFE magazine has just released never-before-published photos that cover the campaign of 1960.

kennedy-16.jpg
Kennedy "had just a little more courage, just a little more stamina, just a little more wisdom and a little more character than any of the rest of us," said Stuart Symington, one of JFK's rivals for the Democratic nomination. Here Kennedy is campaigning in Illinois in October 1960. (Paul Schutzer/TIME & LIFE Pictures)

kennedy-18.jpg



In 1960 it seemed that the world was moving fast and JFK was a man who moved just as quickly. "One could argue," Norman Mailer wrote of that year's Democratic convention "[that it] was one of the most important conventions in America's history, and could prove conceivably to be the most important. The man it nominated was unlike any politician who had ever run for President in the history of the land, and if elected he would come to power in a year when America was in danger of drifting into a profound decline." Above: Kennedy campaigning in Illinois. (Paul Schutzer/TIME & LIFE Pictures)

kennedy-21.jpg
































Here is Jackie Kennedy somehow looking at once regal and wholly at ease while seated on a bus. "A lady," Mailer wrote of her, "whose face might be too imaginative for the taste of a democracy which likes its first ladies to be executives of home-management." (Alfred Eisenstaedt/TIME & LIFE Pictures)

See the full gallery at LIFE.com.

Presented by

Justin Miller was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 to 2011. He is now the homepage editor at New York magazine. More

Justin Miller was a associate editor at The Atlantic. Previously he was an assistant editor at RealClearPolitics, a political reporter in Ohio, and a freelance journalist.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In