He was not all that popular before his death. He won in a very close election in 1960. He had gone to Texas to gain support for 1964 election, which was expected to be very close, because it was a key state that he had nearly lost in 1960 and needed to win. The nation was shocked and sadden by his death and so for years no one said anything critical about him and so people forgot the bad and remembered the good. Today he is a symbol of a golden age that never existed in reality, and had he not existed we would probable have pick some one else as the symbol. His wife Jackie was very glamorous and after decades of dowdy first ladies she entranced the country. Her hair style, and clothes were copied and she was an Icon of popular culture.. She remained one of the most admired women in America until she remarried.