Facts about John Kerry
John Kerry Biography
John Kerry was the U.S. Secretary of State from 2013-17 and a United States senator from Massachusetts from 1985-2013. He was also the Democratic nominee for president in 2004.
John Kerry graduated from Yale University in 1966 and joined the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He won the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts in action in Vietnam, and returned home as a hero who then became an outspoken opponent of the war; he earned national attention for his testimony before the U.S. Senate in 1971.
He attended Boston College Law School and worked as a prosecuting attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts before jumping into politics.
After two years as the state’s lieutenant governor, John Kerry was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984. He was reelected in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008. (Despite his long tenure, he was still Massachusetts’ junior senator until the death of Ted Kennedy in 2009.)
Kerry ran for president in 2004; he won the Democratic Party nomination, but he and his running mate, Senator John Edwards, lost to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in the general election.
In 2013 John Kerry was named Secretary of State by President Barack Obama, who was just beginning his second term. Kerry succeeded Hillary Clinton in the position. A highlight of his term was the negotiation of a nuclear treaty with Iran in 2016. After Republican Donald Trump won the presidential elections of 2016, he nominated Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson to succeed Kerry.
John Kerry married his second wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, in 1995. She is the widow of H. John Heinz III, who served as a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania from 1977 until his death in a plane crash in 1991… John Kerry’s first wife was the former Julia Thorne, whom he married in 1970. The couple separated in 1982, and their divorce became final in 1988. The marriage was annulled by the Catholic Church in 1997. They have two children: Alexandra (b. 1973) and Vanessa (b. 1976)… John Kerry is no relation to former Nebraska senator Bob Kerrey, who also served in Vietnam and lost part of his leg to a grenade wound… In the election of 2004, President Bush’s supporters mocked Kerry for being a war hero in Vietnam (Bush himself was in the Texas Air National Guard while Kerry was in Vietnam, but Bush’s flying privileges were suspended when he did not attend his medical examination).