Jack Schlossberg Is Just Being Himself

Can you tell me about how you engage with your family’s political history? How does it inform your own relationship to politics?

My grandfather, President Kennedy, is my hero. The first thing I ever got really nerdy about was him, his speeches, and his administration. It’s a blueprint for how progressivism can work in America and how America can lead the world in a positive, optimistic, science-driven way. As I’ve grown up, I’ve become more involved in the official obligations that come with being part of my family. I’ve met a lot of politicians and become all the more optimistic about our future by doing that work. I’ve connected to it on a personal level in terms of my own interests and on a professional level, as well, with the work that I do with the Kennedy Library.

I’ve always felt super lucky that there’s this massive historical record about my family that I can learn from. A lot of people don’t get to have that kind of relationship with their ancestors. I’m so lucky for it, and so I try to learn as much as I can from them. I think my grandpa’s speeches are the coolest things ever. His administration actually did so much that’s still with us today, and he inspired a whole generation of people to enter public service—and still does.

Was there a moment—family story, speech, policy—that really connected you to your grandfather?

I was in 10th grade, taking US history, and we were learning about the Kennedy administration. I felt uncomfortable, so I was goofing off. The teacher called on me and tried to make me look stupid by asking me what the Kennedy administration’s policy was in Laos—which I still don’t know the answer to after many years of trying to figure it out. Nobody does. I was really embarrassed. That day I went home and started reading. That’s when I started getting serious about learning about my family and got really inspired by it. One gift that [President Kennedy] gave me was his speech at Rice University, his famous moon speech. That line, “not because they are easy but because they are hard,” is something that really resonates with me. It’s a timeless message.

NEW YORK NY  JULY 2 2024 JFK's grandson Jack Schlossberg at the Vogue office in NYC. CREDIT Peter Fisher for Vogue

Photographed by Peter Fisher


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