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John Kerry

John Kerry
Personal data
Date of birthDecember 11, 1943(age 73)
Place of birthAurora, Colorado
NationalityU.S. Citizen
SpouseJulia Thorne (divorced)
Teresa Heinz
ChildrenAlexandra Kerry
Vanessa Kerry
H. John Heinz IV (stepson)
Andre Heinz (stepson)
Christopher Heinz (stepson)
ResidenceBoston, Massachusetts
Alma materYale University (B.A.)
Boston College (J.D.)
OccupationAttorney
ReligionRoman Catholic
Military service
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1966 1970
RankLieutenant
Unit 
Coastal Squadron 1
CommandsPCF-44, PCF-94
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsSilver Star
Bronze Star
Purple Heart (3)
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Assumed officeJanuary 6, 2009
Preceded byJoseph Biden
Assumed officeJanuary 2, 1985
Serving with Scott Brown
Preceded byPaul Tsongas
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
In officeJanuary 4, 2007 - January 3, 2009
Succeeded byMary Landrieu
Preceded byOlympia Snowe
In officeJune 6, 2001 - January 3, 2003
Succeeded byOlympia Snowe
Preceded byKit Bond
In officeJanuary 3, 2001 - January 20, 2001
Succeeded byKit Bond
Preceded byKit Bond
Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs
In officeAugust 2, 1991 - January 2, 1993
66th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
In officeMarch 6, 1983 - January 2, 1985
GovernorMichael Dukakis
Succeeded byEvelyn Murphy (1987)
Preceded byThomas P. O'Neill III

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John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. 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 former President George W. Bush.

The son of an Army Air Corps serviceman, Kerry was born in Aurora, Colorado. He attended boarding school in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and went on to graduate from Yale University class of 1966, where he majored in political science. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966 and, during 1968-1969, served a four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam as officer-in-charge (OIC) of a Swift Boat. For that service he was awarded several combat medals that include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. After returning to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesperson and as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam war. During that period, he appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he deemed his superiors to be "war criminals".

After graduating from Boston College Law School, Kerry worked as an Assistant District Attorney and co-founded a private firm. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis from 1983 to 1985, where he worked on an early forerunner to the national Clean Air Act. He won a tight Democratic primary in 1984 for the U.S. Senate and was sworn in the following January. On the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he led a series of hearings from 1987 to 1989 which were a precursor to the Iran Contra affair. He was an early backer of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but became a strong opponent of the subsequent war.

Kerry based his 2004 presidential campaign on opposition to the Iraq War. He and his running mate Senator John Edwards lost by 34 electoral votes. Since then, he has established the Keeping America's Promise PAC.

On August 9, 2011, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed Kerry to the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.


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