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President John F. Kennedy speaks during a press conference.
Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library
President John F. Kennedy speaks during a press conference.

Airs Monday, Aug. 8 & Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Revisit the lives of six recent presidents—John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush—in films from our award-winning collection. Beginning Aug. 8 on PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin’s bullet, John F. Kennedy’s presidency has often defied objective appraisal. This portrait offers a fresh assessment of the man, his accomplishments and his unfulfilled promise. Produced and directed by Susan Bellows, "JFK" features interviews with Kennedy family members and historians including Robert Dallek, Robert Caro, and Evan Thomas.



Browse a chronology of major events that occurred during John F. Kennedy's presidency.

Beginning with Kennedy’s childhood years as the privileged but sickly second son of one of the wealthiest men in America, "JFK" explores his early political career as a lackluster congressman, his successful run for the U.S. Senate, and the game-changing presidential campaign that made him the youngest elected president in U.S. history.

Part 1 repeats Monday, Aug. 8 at 9 p.m. - Follow JFK’s rise to power from his birth to his election as president in 1960 — the youngest man ever to be elected to the office. With illuminating interviews from family members including sister Jean Kennedy Smith, niece Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, historian Robert Dallek and author Robert Caro, this episode offers new insight into Kennedy’s early years, from his transformation from a sickly youth to Washington’s most eligible bachelor to the nation’s president.

Part 2 repeats Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 9 p.m. - Follow Kennedy into the White House through his assassination and the unfulfilled promise of his presidency. Offering fresh assessments of the successes and failures of his tenure, this episode features frank appraisals by administration officials, including John Siegenthaler, Thomas Hughes and Harris Wofford, civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Julian Bond, and journalists Evan Thomas and Richard Reeves.


AMERICAN EXPERIENCE recently launched The Presidents, an all-new digital portal showcasing more than 750 assets from the Peabody Award-winning collection of films about our nation’s most important leaders. The portal allows viewers to screen full-length films, delve deeper with experts and living witnesses, and examine more than 200 primary source documents. Video galleries on The Presidents site explore how different presidents faced issues including the economy, war, dealing with a crisis, and abuses of power.

You can download The Presidents Collection on iTunes, or buy The Presidents DVD pack at


AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and you can follow @AmExperiencePBS on Twitter.

JFK Sneak Peek

This new biopic on JFK provides a fresh look at an enigmatic man who has become one of the nation's most beloved and most mourned leaders. Premiering on American Experience PBS November 11 & 12 at 9/8c.

JFK Series Preview

"Before that moment

JFK on Policing the World: The Soviet Menace

"As soon as he took office