Ballot Box

Profile: John Kerry

This week, Slate begins a series of short features explaining who the 2004 presidential candidates are, what they’ve said and done, and where they propose to take the country. The first installment summarizes each candidate’s personal and professional background. Today’s subject is John Kerry.

John Kerry

John Forbes Kerry

Web site: www.johnkerry.com.

Age: 59 (born Dec. 11, 1943).

Highest grade completed: Law school (1976).

Political experience: U.S. senator, Massachusetts (1985-present); lieutenant governor, Massachusetts (1983-1985).

Asserted achievements: Started Senate probe that led to revelation of Iran-Contra scandal; chaired investigation of POW claims that led to normalization of relations with Vietnam; authored 2002 budget amendment that increased money for renewable energy.

Previous jobs: Lawyer in private practice (1980-1982); assistant district attorney (1976-1979); spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War (1971); co-founder of Vietnam Veterans of America (1971).

Spouse: Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Children from current marriage: None.

Previous marriages: One (1970-1988).

Children from previous marriage: Two adult daughters.

Military history: U.S. Navy (1966-1970). Commanded a river gunboat in Vietnam. Won Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts.

Medical history: Surgery for prostate cancer in February 2003.

Parents’ jobs: Father was a Foreign Service officer; mother was from elite Forbes family.

Net worth: $165.4 million-$626.3 million, including spouse’s assets.

Religion: Catholic.

Campaign songs: I Won’t Back Down” (Tom Petty), “No Surrender” (Bruce Springsteen).