How Sick Was J.F.K.?

Much sicker than we thought, says the biographer who has opened some of Kennedy's long-secret medical records

Vigor was the byword of the Kennedy years. After the wrinkled decorum of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy's America would feature people like him, the kind whose hair waved in the wind as they scrimmaged on the lawn at Hyannis Port, Mass. But for more than a decade now, as biographers have burrowed under the New Frontier, another J.F.K. has come into the picture. That would be the one with a multitude of serious illnesses whose life was a hidden ordeal of pills and injections, the one whose severe chronic back pain led him eventually to find relief in...

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