These photos were taken by Jacques Lowe in October 1963, which appeared in Look magazine just four days before the Kennedy motorcade passed before the Texas School Book Depository Building in downtown Dallas.
In their grief, Americans wept afresh over these photos of a President and his son. In Omaha, Nebraska, where the Midwest Governors’ Conference was in stunned adjournment, Governor George Romney of Michigan stood transfixed, looking at the cover of JFK and his son. He was a father, and there was a mist of understanding in his eyes. He shook his head, and said: “Now, through this terrible thing, these pictures are historic.” It was an an “act of God” that they were taken, said Mrs. Kennedy, for they were not only a last closeup of the tender, prideful relation JFK had with his boy, but they almost didn’t happen at all. The idea was born eighteen months before—and came off only, in truth, because the pictures were “sneaked” with Presidential help while Mrs. Kennedy was off cruising in the Greek Islands.
In this set, to get John Jr. to stand still, if only for a few minutes, was a problem. The President solved it by sitting on a bench in the Rose Garden and urging his son to play his favorite game, “Secrets.” Then JFK turned John over his knee and gave him a mock paddling, followed by an affectionate paternal caress. JFK was so pleased with these photos he reportedly trotted them all over the White House, showing them off to anyone who would look at them.
JFK photographed by Yousuf Karsh, c. 1957
Bobby Kennedy in Jerusalem, 1948.
Bobby sits alone in the Senate Caucus Room, after three weeks of hearings on labor union corruption in 1957.
The president facing a visitor. He would often stand like this, slightly leaning on the desk, to alleviate his back pain.
JFK is seen choosing an official photograph while smoking a cigar the day after his inauguration; with him is his naval aide, Captain Tazewell Shepard, January 21, 1961. The bottom pic is the one that was chosen.
Senator and Mrs. John F. Kennedy arriving in Lafayette, Louisiana, October 1959. They were guests at the International Rice Festival in Crowley, Louisiana.
Attorney General Robert Kennedy photographed by Henri Cartier-Bresson in his office, 1961.
JFK with daughter Caroline and niece Maria Shriver aboard the Honey Fitz, July 28, 1963.
Kennedy was often badgered by his children for his fictional accounts of animals and people. He dreamed up one about a white whale that ate socks and was gratified when guest Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., took off his shoes, pulled off his socks and threw them overboard into the sea to show how the monster demanded feeding. On one hot day the President took Caroline’s chocolate ice cream cone and smeared it on her back as she squealed in delight. —Cecil Stoughton
Labor Day weekend in Hyannis Port, 1963.
These photographs by Mark Shaw, never used, were taken during the Bay of Pigs disaster in 1961. The President later commented that he had decided not to release them. ‘I looked too serious.’ It was a grim, tense day, but he brought none of this to the top floor of the White House. Afterward he had lunch, a sandwich and fruit on a small tray. He made no mention of the cause and reason for his quiet.
September 14, 1962: Jack and Jackie were in their element at the glamorous dinner at The Breakers the night before the America’s Cup races in Newport, Rhode Island. Said the President that night, “I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except that I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. We have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came.”
One weekend in August 1963, Anita, Sally and I came up to see the President on a Friday afternoon. As soon as we disembarked from Andrews Air Force One at the air force base just outside Hyannis Port, we saw Jacqueline, John and Caroline. Spotting his dad coming down the ramp, John took off in full flight in his direction. The next day the papers carried a picture of John in full stride, one toe barely touching the ground and the other back up behind him as high as his head as he was rushing forward, to be caught in his father’s arms.
Walter Pidgeon sent the President a clipping with a quotation: “An unbound spirit, whose race has just begun…” Jack saw the picture and said with a smile, “Every mother in the United States is saying, ‘Isn’t it wonderful to see that love between a son and his father, the way that John races to be with his father?’ Little do they know that that son would have raced right by his father to get to that helicopter but his dad stepped into his path and grabbed him.” -RED FAY
Birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, May 19th, 1962.
Caroline tenderly kisses her father’s hand as they bring daisies to Jackie at Otis Air Force Base Hospital. Jack and Jackie had just lost their son Patrick, August 1963.