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John Kerry (1943)

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John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior United States 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 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 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. He became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, and in 2011 he was appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

  Biography  

family
Kerry was married to Julia Thorne in 1970, and they had two daughters together: Alexandra and Vanessa. Alexandra was born on September 5, 1973, days before Kerry began law school. A graduate of Milton Academy and Brown University, she received her M.F.A. in June 2004 from the AFI Conservatory. She is a documentary filmmaker. Vanessa was born on December 31, 1976. She is a graduate of Phillips Academy and Yale University, and attended Harvard Medical School and a master's program in health policy at the London School of Economics. Both daughters were active in their father's 2004 Presidential campaign.

In 1982 Thorne, who was suffering from severe depression, asked Kerry for a separation. 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.

Kerry and his second wife, Teresa Simões-Ferreira Heinz, the widow of Pennsylvania Senator H. John Heinz III, a Republican, and former United Nations interpreter, were introduced to each other by John Heinz at an Earth Day rally in 1990. They did not meet again until after John Heinz's death, at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. They married on May 26, 1995, in Nantucket. John Kerry's stepsons – Teresa's three sons from her previous marriage – are H. John Heinz IV, André Heinz and Christopher Heinz, who married Alexandra DeRuyter Lewis on February 10, 2007.

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 is the wealthiest U.S. Senator. 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 estimated that if elected, Kerry would have been the third-richest U.S. President in history when adjusted for inflation. This assessment was based on the couple's combined assets, but Kerry and Heinz signed a prenuptial agreement that keeps their assets separate. Kerry's financial disclosure form for 2002 put his personal assets in the range of $409,000 to $1.8 million, with additional assets held jointly by Kerry and his wife in the range of $300,000 to $600,000.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "John Kerry", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.