John Kerry

John Forbes Kerry was born in 1943 in Denver, Colorado. His father was a World War II pilot and diplomat and his mother a member of an elite Boston family and descendant of John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Kerry was educated in New England and Switzerland, and graduated from Yale University in 1966. He immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Vietnam War as a gunboat officer in the Mekong delta. He achieved the rank of lieutenant and was honoured with three purple hearts. Kerry concluded his military service in 1970, co-founded the Vietnam Veterans of America, and became a spokesperson for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In 1971 he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He lost a run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972 and in 1976 graduated from Boston College Law School. He practiced law for a few years before returning to politics, elected lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and to the U.S. Senate in 1984, where he served three terms. Kerry fought for campaign finance reform, investment in public education and deficit reduction. He worked closely with John McCain on normalizing relations with Vietnam and chaired several committees, including the Foreign Relations Committee. In 1995, he married Teresa Heinz, heiress to the Heinz Company fortune. Kerry secured the Democratic nomination in 2004, and with running mate John Edwards, lost in the general election to incumbent President George W. Bush. He became active in funding for democratic candidates in future elections, and served as Secretary of State during President Obama’s presidency from 2013-2017. He has written several books: The New War: The Web of Crime That Threatens America’s Security (1997), A Call to Service (2003), and, with his wife, This Moment on Earth: Today’s New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future (2007); the memoir Every Day Is Extra (2018).



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