Kennedy After Dark: A Dinner Party About Politics and Power

In this exclusive transcript from the JFK library, hear what he had to say just days after announcing his candidacy for the presidency

"It's possible my natural level is in the Senate," John F. Kennedy said—but then he won the 1960 election. As president, he and his wife hosted Ben and Tony Bradlee (left and third from left) at the White House. (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum)
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(Continued from page 19)

JFK: There’s a picture that the Boston Globe ran Sunday, which had the veterans rally in ’47, Franklin Roosevelt and I, and I looked like a cadaver.

Bradlee: But that color was just fantastic. You were really green . . .

JFK: Adrenal deficiency.

Bradlee: This was 1948, it must have been, ’48 or ’49.

JFK: Forty-seven or -eight, I guess. Well, the point of the matter is, that’s why my father thought that I was not equipped for political life. [unclear]

Bradlee: And you’d been a congressman for two years. Did you run for Con- gress with this greenness?

JFK: Oh yeah. Greener.

Toni Bradlee: What was that? That was atabrine?

JFK: It was atabrine, malaria, and probably some adrenal deficiency,

Bradlee: Addison’s? What is that damn disease?


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