JFK at 95: What If He Had Lived?
Photo By Monica Fuentes
Had he not been felled by assassin's bullets back in 1963, President John F. Kennedy would have turned 95 years old this week. That's if old age and some tragic and wacky Kennedy-curse accident hadn't done him in first.
Would he and Jackie have spent their entire lives together, or would they have divorced, becoming the first former First Couple to call it quits, only to meet up again at Studio 54, with Jackie clutching John's golden medallion during Musique's "In the Bush"?
Imagine a virile middle-aged JFK logging time with a saggy-but-regal Marilyn Monroe in some alternate universe, guesting on The Dick Cavett Show or saying "Sock it to me?" together on Laugh-In...
The sideburns and pompadour that JFK would have sported would be epic, I can tell you that much, and dyed a rich mahogany even as nature demanded he go silently into the night, silver and gray.
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After leaving office in January 1969 after two terms of service, including a second term that would see him fight U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and fighting the good fight for civil rights, he would leave the White House to Richard Nixon. He would return that summer to help celebrate man's first steps on the Moon.
Or maybe Lyndon Johnson. Without having to deal with the Vietnam War and the stress of a post-assassination nation, LBJ could have had the energy to be president post-Kennedy.
But the political side is boring. British historian Andrew Roberts delved into that more deeply in a piece last year for The Mirror. Roberts makes a great point that as the country marched towards the Watergate era, the scrutiny on Kennedy could have been insurmountable, what with his lady-mongering ways. A documentary was also released last year dealing with the what-ifs.
As Roberts relates in his blog, Kennedy once reportedly complained that he got headaches if he didn't have sex with a new woman every three days. Wow, Viagra's introduction in the '90s would have meant he could have been bedding women into his '80s, like Hugh Hefner. And no doubt he would have his own suite in the Playboy Mansion.
Let's instead imagine the sweet Ron Burgundy-style 'stache that JFK could have grown. Or hosting the Academy Awards with Bob Hope, and staring too long at Raquel Welch's chest.
To be realistic, by now JFK would have more than likely passed away. Even Ronald Reagan only made it to 93 years, and he was ravaged by Alzheimer's for almost the last decade of his life. Being president doesn't always take years off your life. John Adams, Herbert Hoover, and Gerald Ford all made it to 90. Kennedy lived fast though.
Another possibility is that if the bullets that day in Dallas had hit Kennedy and not killed him, he could have lived with the injuries, possibly even being paralyzed or left with brain damage. A broken idol.
Even if an assassin or assassins hadn't killed Kennedy, it might have been a freak accident that did him in, as is the sad norm for most Kennedys, no matter what conspiracy theories you believe. A hunting accident, a skiing mishap? Maybe lung cancer after years of smoking?
Or maybe in some alternate universe he's tweeting away as @JFK, posting pics from his photo shoot with his son, New York Senator John Jr., with his aged and liver-spotted hands resting firmly on Kate Upton's bare thigh.