Quotation by William E. Leuchtenburg

Kennedy benefited, too, from the fact that the country perceived him to be, like Roosevelt, a patrician. To be sure, Kennedy did not boast a seventeenth-century lineage or descend from the landed gentry. Yet in other respects they were similar. Both had gone to prestigious prep schools; both were Harvard men; both had sailed the New England coast; each had a sense of noblesse oblige. Like Roosevelt, Kennedy was a man of inherited wealth who could, to a degree, view business from the outside. In comparing Kennedy to Roosevelt, a columnist for the New Republic observed: "Each had an upper-class education, found a life of public service more attractive than money-grabbing, and each had a respect for the decencies. At heart, too, each had a kind of patrician reticence, an impervious private dignity."
William E. Leuchtenburg (b. 1922), U.S. historian, educator. In the Shadow of FDR: From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan (rev. edition), Cornell University Press (1989).
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