John Kerry

Junior United States Senator From Massachusetts + 2004 Presidential Candidate For the Democratic Party

John Forbes Kerry is an American politician who has been a United States Senator from Massachusetts since 1985, and is Barack Obama's nominee to replace current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. He is the seventh most senior United States Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to President George W. Bush.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of John Kerry.


1943 Birth John Forbes Kerry was born on December 11, 1943 in Aurora, Colorado, at Fitzsimons Army Hospital. … Read More
1949 5 Years Old Kerry grew up a military brat until his father was discharged from the Army Air Corps, causing the family to settle in Washington, D.C. in 1949. … Read More


1957 13 Years Old In 1957, his father was stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway, and Kerry was sent back to the United States to attend boarding school. … Read More
1962 18 Years Old In 1962, Kerry entered Yale University, majoring in political science and residing in Jonathan Edwards College. … Read More


1965 21 Years Old Under the guidance of the speaking coach and history professor Rollin Osterweis, Kerry won many debates against other college students from across the nation. In March 1965, as the Vietnam War escalated, he won the Ten Eyck prize as the best orator in the junior class for a speech that was critical of U.S. foreign policy. … Read More
…  Kerry enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966, and during 1968–1969 served an abbreviated four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam as officer-in-charge (OIC) of a Swift Boat. … Read More
1968 24 Years Old During the night of December 2 and early morning of December 3, 1968, Kerry was in charge of a small boat operating near a peninsula north of Cam Ranh Bay together with a Swift boat (PCF-60). … Read More
Kerry received his second Purple Heart for a wound received in action on the Bồ Đề River on February 20, 1969. … Read More
1970 - 1971 4 More Events
1972 28 Years Old 1 More Event
In February 1972, Kerry's wife bought a house in Worcester, with Kerry intending to run against the 4th district's ageing thirteen-term incumbent Democrat, Harold Donohue. … Read More


1974 30 Years Old While studying, Kerry worked as a talk radio host on WBZ and, in July 1974, was named executive director of Mass Action, a Massachusetts advocacy association.
1976 32 Years Old 1 More Event
Kerry received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Boston College in 1976. … Read More
1977 33 Years Old In January 1977, Droney promoted him to First Assistant District Attorney, essentially making Kerry his campaign and media surrogate because Droney was afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease). … Read More
1978 34 Years Old 1 More Event
It was in this role in 1978 that Kerry announced an investigation into possible criminal charges against then Senator Edward Brooke, regarding "misstatements" in his first divorce trial. … Read More
1979 35 Years Old Kerry thus decided to leave, departing in 1979 with assistant DA Roanne Sragow to set up their own law firm. … Read More
In 1982, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts Thomas P. O'Neill III declined to seek a third term to run for Governor of Massachusetts, though he would fall foul of the state Democratic Party's rule changes and failed to make the ballot. … Read More


1985 41 Years Old 1 More Event
Tsongas resigned on January 2, 1985, one day before the end of his term. … Read More
1987 - 1989 3 More Events
1990 46 Years Old 1 More Event
Kerry was re-elected to additional terms in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008.
1991 47 Years Old Kerry chaired the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs from 1991 to 1993. … Read More
1992 48 Years Old In December 1992, Kerry and Senator Hank Brown, a Republican from Colorado, released The BCCI Affair, a report on the BCCI scandal. … Read More


1995 51 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1995, President Bill Clinton normalized diplomatic relations with the country of Vietnam.
1996 52 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1996, Kerry faced a difficult re-election fight against Governor William Weld, a popular Republican incumbent who had been re-elected in 1994 with 71% of the vote. … Read More
1997 - 2000 2 More Events
2002 58 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2002, Kerry voted to authorize the President "to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein", but warned that the administration should exhaust its diplomatic avenues before launching war.
2003 59 Years Old 1 More Event
Kerry's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander George Elliott, stated to Douglas Brinkley in 2003 that he did not know whether to court-martial Kerry for beaching the boat without orders or give him a medal for saving the crew.


…  Kerry was the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in the 2004 presidential election, losing narrowly to Republican incumbent George W. Bush.
2005 - 2008 3 More Events
2010 66 Years Old According to the Boston Herald, dated July 23, 2010, Kerry commissioned construction on a new $7 million yacht (a Friendship 75) in New Zealand and moored it in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, where the Friendship yacht company is based. … Read More
2011 67 Years Old Kerry "has emerged in the past few years as an important envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan during times of crisis," a Washington Post report stated in May 2011, as Kerry undertook another trip to the two countries. … Read More
2012 68 Years Old 1 More Event
During the 2012 Obama reelection campaign, Kerry participated in one-on-one debate prep with the president, impersonating the Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
In January 2013, Kerry was nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then confirmed by the U.S. Senate, assuming the office on February 1, 2013.
2016 72 Years Old 1 More Event
Kerry has had a long-standing concern with environmentalism as a global issue. In April 2016, he signed the Paris Climate Accords at the United Nations in New York. … Read More
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