Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. (1915-1944) was the oldest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. (1888-1969) and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (1890-1995). A talented student and athlete, Kennedy graduated from Harvard College in 1938. He attended Harvard Law School but left before graduation to join the U.S. Navy during World War II (1939-1945). In August 1944, Kennedy, a naval pilot, was killed at age 29 during a secret bombing mission off the coast of Normandy, France. After Kennedy’s death, his brother John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) pursued a political career and took office as the nation’s first Irish Catholic president in January 1961.