Hero of the Day - John Kerry

John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is an American politician who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. He has served in the United States Senate, and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry was the candidate of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, losing to incumbent President George W. Bush.

Kerry was born in Aurora, Colorado and attended boarding school in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He graduated from Yale University class of 1966 with a political science major. 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. For that service, he was awarded combat medals that include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Securing an early return to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesman and as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. He appeared in the Fulbright Hearings before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he deemed United States war policy in Vietnam to be the cause of war crimes.

After receiving his J.D. from Boston College Law School, Kerry worked as an Assistant District Attorney. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis from 1983 to 1985. He won the 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. Kerry was reelected to additional terms in 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008. 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.

In his 2004 presidential campaign, Kerry criticized George W. Bush for the Iraq War. He and his running mate Senator John Edwards lost the race, finishing 35 electoral votes behind Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Kerry became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009. Having been nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and then confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 94–3 on January 29, 2013, Kerry assumed the office on February 1, 2013.

Ancestry

Kerry's paternal grandparents, shoe businessman Frederick A. "Fred" Kerry and musician Ida Lowe, were immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Fred was born as "Fritz Kohn" before he and Ida took on the "Kerry" name and moved to the United States. Fred and Ida were born Jewish, and converted to Catholicism together in Austria.[153] His maternal ancestors were of Scottish and English descent, and his maternal grandfather James Grant Forbes II was a member of the Forbes family, while his maternal grandmother Margaret Tyndal Winthrop was a member of the Dudley–Winthrop family. Margaret's paternal grandfather Robert Charles Winthrop served as the 22nd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Robert's father was Governor Thomas Lindall Winthrop. Thomas' father John Still Winthrop was a great-great-grandson of Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop and great-grandson of Governor Thomas Dudley. Through his mother, John is a first cousin once removed of French politician Brice Lalonde.

Marriages and children

Kerry was married to Julia Stimson Thorne in 1970, and they had two daughters together:

Alexandra Forbes Kerry (born September 5, 1973), documentary filmmaker
Vanessa Bradford Kerry (born December 31, 1976), physician
Alexandra was born days before Kerry began law school. In 1982, Julia asked Kerry for a separation while she was suffering from severe depression.[155] They were divorced on July 25, 1988, and the marriage was formally annulled in 1997. "After 14 years as a political wife, I associated politics only with anger, fear and loneliness" she wrote in A Change of Heart, her book about depression. Thorne later married Richard Charlesworth, an architect, and moved to Bozeman, Montana, where she became active in local environmental groups such as the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. Thorne supported Kerry's 2004 presidential run. She died of cancer on April 27, 2006.[156]

Kerry and his second wife, Mozambican-born businesswoman and philanthropist Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões Ferreira (known as Teresa), the widow of Republican Pennsylvania Senator Henry John Heinz III, were introduced to each other by Heinz at an Earth Day rally in 1990. Teresa's has three sons from her previous marriage to Heinz, Henry John Heinz IV, André Thierstein Heinz, and Christopher Drake Heinz.[157] Heinz and Kerry got married on May 26, 1995, in Nantucket, Massachusetts.[158]

The Forbes 400 survey estimated in 2004 that Teresa Heinz Kerry had a net worth of $750 million. However, estimates have frequently varied, ranging from around $165 million to as high as $3.2 billion, according to a study in the Los Angeles Times. Regardless of which figure is correct, Kerry was the wealthiest U.S. Senator whilst serving in the Senate. Kerry is wealthy in his own name, and is the beneficiary of at least four trusts inherited from Forbes family members, including his mother, who died in 2002. Forbes magazine (a major business magazine named for an unrelated Forbes family) estimated that if elected, Kerry would have been the third-richest U.S. President in history when adjusted for inflation.[159] This assessment was based on the couple's combined assets, but Kerry and Heinz signed a prenuptial agreement that keeps their assets separate.[160] Kerry's financial disclosure form for 2011 put his personal assets in the range of $230,000,000 to $320,000,000,[161] including the assets of his spouse and any dependent children. This included slightly more than three million dollars worth of H. J. Heinz Company assets, which increased in value by over six hundred thousand dollars in 2013 due to Berkshire Hathaway announcing they would purchase the company.

Wikipedia: John Kerry

Quotes

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?
Testimony before subcommittees of the U.S. Senate, April, 1971
We feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country. … And we cannot consider ourselves America's best men when we are ashamed of and hated what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia.
Testimony before subcommittees of the U.S. Senate, April, 1971
There are all kinds of atrocities, and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50-caliber machine guns, which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search and destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare, all of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this is ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down. And I believe that the men who designed these, the men who designed the free fire zone, the men who ordered us, the men who signed off the air raid strike areas, I think these men, by the letter of the law, the same letter of the law that tried Lieutenant [William] Calley, are war criminals.
Testimony before subcommittees of the U.S. Senate, April, 1971
We must recognize that there is no indication that Saddam Hussein has any intention of relenting. So we have an obligation of enormous consequence, an obligation to guarantee that Saddam Hussein cannot ignore the United Nations. He cannot be permitted to go unobserved and unimpeded toward his horrific objective of amassing a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Speech to the floor of the Senate, Congressional Record, November 9, 1997 [1]
If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement, even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act.
New York Times op-ed, September 6, 2002 [2]
We need a new approach to national security - a bold, progressive internationalism that stands in stark contrast to the too often belligerent and myopic unilateralism of the Bush Administration.
Remarks at Georgetown University, January 23, 2003 [3]
If you don't believe...Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me.
usatoday.com, February 11, 2003 [4]
I said at the time I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, and when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.
Democratic Presidential Debate May 13, 2003 [5]
I voted to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. I knew we had to hold him accountable. There's never been a doubt about that. But I also know that if we had done this with a sufficient number of troops, if we had done this in a globalized way, if we had brought more people to the table, we might have caught Saddam Hussein sooner. We might have had less loss of life. We would be in a stronger position today with respect to what we're doing.
14 December 2003, Fox News Sunday
We're going to keep pounding. These guys [Bush Administration] are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen. It's scary.
Kerry uttered these words, not knowing there was a microphone recording it March 12, 2004
I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it. … Joe [Biden] and I brought an amendment to the $87 billion, and we said, `This should be paid for now, not adding to the deficit'…. The president said no; the Republicans voted no.
San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 2004
America must always be the world's paramount military power, but we can magnify our power through alliances.
May 27, 2004
I'm John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty.
Acceptance Speech at Democratic National Convention, July 29, 2004
It's the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sept 6, 2004
There is some schedule showing what you (need) to do to get Iraqis standing up and defending themselves which is now suddenly beginning to happen, so there are some signs of progress.
September 27, 2005 [9]
We're here to talk about education. But I want to say something before that....You know, education, if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.
Speech to California students, 31 October 2006
Quoted in "Kerry's 'Botched' Joke Backfires". CBS News/Associated Press. 2006-11-01. Retrieved on 2006-11-01.
I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did. I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium.
Unidentified 31 October 2006 statement
Quoted in Loven, Jennifer (2006-10-31). "White House spokesman slams Kerry remark". Associated Press (via Yahoo! News). Retrieved on 2006-10-31.
KERRY: I have had conversations with leaders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Recently?
KERRY: Yes, recently.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How recent?
KERRY: That‘s not your business. It‘s mine. Are you a Democrat, a Republican? What are you? Are you a registered Republican?
(CROSSTALK)
KERRY: Are you a Republican? You answer the question. Did you vote for George Bush? Did you vote for George Bush?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I voted for George Bush and I...
KERRY: Thank you.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE sits while booed by crowd)
March 2004 exchange
Quoted in "'Scarborough Country' for March 15". MSNBC. 2004-3-15. Retrieved on 2008-08-07.
We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or truth or what's happening.
September 27, 2010. [10]
So my judgment is that Syria will move; Syria will change, as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the United States and the West and economic opportunity that comes with it and the participation that comes with it.
Speech at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 16, 2011.
After Mitt Romney said it would be naive to go into Pakistan to pursue the terrorists, it took President Obama, against the advice of many, to give that order and finally rid this earth of Osama bin Laden. Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago!
September 6, 2012 John Kerry’s speech to the Democratic National Convention, 2012
What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Make no mistake, President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people.
Syria chemical attack undeniable, says John Kerry, August 26, 2013

Wikiquote: John Kerry

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