Making the JFK Connection….Answers to John F. Kennedy…. 

So what is Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen’s connection to America’s 35th President, John F. Kennedy? 

If you guessed that the closest link had something to do with Paul Allen’s friend, Bill Clinton, you’re right! (See Answers to Nelson Mandela) 

Aside from the Clinton family’s current friendship and political ties to the Kennedy’s, including the fact that both Bill Clinton’s wife and JFK’s brother are U.S. Senators,  former President Bill Clinton has an even more direct connection with America’s 35th President—- 

He met Kennedy personally and shook hands with him at the White House in 1963. 


In 1963, a very young Bill Clinton was invited to the White House as a representative of Boy’s Nation.  He was reportedly so moved by the encounter that it inspired him to seek public office. 


So the Presidential Connection is a 2 Degree connection—Clinton to JFK.  But that’s just too easy, so why stop there?  Let’s explore a few more Paul Allen—John F. Kennedy connections—within 6 degrees—o.k.?

The Blues Connection—

In 1963, President Kennedy’s Birthday celebration was televised, and a number of celebrities performed at the party, including Blues great….

 …..Ella Fitzgerald (1) who sang in the soundtrack for the movie “Aviator” directed by ….Martin Scorsese (2) who is another director friend of Allen’s who also directed Allen’s Vulcan Productions Film, “The Blues.” 

See…. And  

The Hollywood Connection—

The Kennedys and Hollywood were close in the 1960’s. 

Actor Peter Lawford, a member of the famous “Rat Pack” that included Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra,  married JFK’s sister, Pat Kennedy, and gatherings of family and friends ended up being a kind of mishmash of Hollywood and political royalty. 

So there are many connections, and I could go on and on….but I’ll be nice and will only present a few of them :-). ….

Famous Crooner Bing Crosby (1) 

was a good friend of JFK’s. In fact, Kennedy stayed at Crosby’s home when he came out to the coast shortly after his Presidential election win, much to the chagrin of Frank Sinatra, who assumed that JFK would be staying with him instead.

 (See Christopher Kennedy Lawford’s “Symptoms of Withdrawal” p.37) 

Bing Crosby’s grandson, Steven Crosby (2) , has worked for Paul Allen for years as Vulcan’s Vice President of Corporate Communications.  


The Peter Lawford Kennedy family lived just down the beach from the hotel-rich Hilton family in Santa Monica, California. 

Christopher Kennedy Lawford (1) JFK’s nephew, used to play with Ricky Hilton (2), socialite Paris Hilton’s (3) father when they were kids.  

Paris has been a guest aboard Paul Allen’s Octopus, most notoriously at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, on the same night that Kid Rock wanted to jam with Robert Downey Jr. and Paul Allen who were entertaining guests onstage. 

See… (May 20, 05)


Also…….Movie icon Marilyn Monroe (1) was a regular among the “Rat Pack” group, and a friend of John F. Kennedy’s.  She was also present at his Birthday celebration and sang the famous, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at the televised party. 

She starred in a movie called “The Misfits” 

…directed by John Huston (2), who also directed an episode of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” with none other than Alfred Hitchcock (3), who directed a number of movies starring the beautiful Grace Kelly (aka Princess Grace of Monaco) (4), mother of Prince Albert of Monaco (5), who is another friend of Allen’s, and  who has partied with him aboard his yachts.  


Marilyn Monroe (1) (again:-), starred in “The Misfits” directed by

John Huston (2), father of Angelica Huston (3), who was in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”* with Owen Wilson (4), who has been romantically linked with Gina Gershon (5) See…. 

…who has been romantically linked with Paul Allen. 

Paul Allen is also linked to JFK through another director,  James Cameron (1). 

Cameron is a friend of Allen’s and is also a fellow member of  The Seakeeper’s Society, a group gathered together in an environmental effort to protect the world’s oceans.  


 And…. %22monaco%22%20and%20%22seakeepers%22% 

Cameron directed “The Terminator” starring… Arnold Schwarzenegger (2), now Governor of California, who is married to

Maria Shriver (3), John F. Kennedy’s niece.

 And now, here are a few more connections that really fall under the category of “did you know?” kind of trivia vs. a within-6-degree connection, but… Just for fun, here they are!  

Space Racing

 According to Wikipedia, one of the major events during the JFK Presidency was the “Space Race”—influenced by the Cold War with Russia and Sputnik, the Satellite that the U.S.S.R. launched into space on Oct. 4, 1957. 


On that space-related note, Paul Allen sponsored the first privately-financed manned spaceship to enter suborbital space. SpaceShipOne launched astronauts Mike Melville  and Brian Binnie into space on Sept. 29th, 2004 and October 4th, 2004 respectively.


And on May 5th, 1961, Kennedy was the first U.S. President to launch America’s first manned suborbital vessel, Mercury Redstone 3 into space. It was a day that would turn Alan Shepard into America’s first astronaut.


The Greek Connection 

Both JFK and Paul Allen belonged to the same fraternity, Phi Kappa Theta.




 The Connection to a Star 10,000 Light Years Away 

This may not be a “within 6 degrees” kind of thing, but I thought it was so cool that I had to share it with you!:-)


The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair opened in a very unique way.


John F. Kennedy was President at the time and Seattle resident Paul Allen was just 9 years old.


The new technology shown in the exhibits and the space age theme of the fair must have been really exciting for a kid Paul Allen’s age. 

And the way that the fair opened—by President Kennedy’s touching a telegraph key that connected to a computer that caught the radio signals coming from a star 10,000 light years away—(Casseiopeia)—must have had an impact on the 9 year old, because Paul Allen has been searching for radio signals from space via SETI ever since !(well, at least during the last few years:-)……….



See this article from Life Magazine, May 1962—


President Kennedy opened the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair from Palm Beach Florida by touching a famous gold telegraph key, the one that seven other Presidents had used on such ceremonial occasions.


“This activated a computer in Andover, Maine which in turn focused a radio telescope on the distant star Cassiopeia A to pick up on a wave that began its 186,000-mile-per-second journey across space 10,000 years ago.  Relayed to Seattle, the impulse set off bells, lights and cheers.  Workmen cut a cord, 2,000 balloons rose over Seattle like tiny moons and the fair in all its spectacle had begun.” 

  John F. Kennedy’s gesture was meant to symbolize a connection—between space and time, countries and planets, past and future. 

Paul Allen, the 9 year old who went to the Fair with his sister, Jody, 

would later take on the giants who came to the Fair, IBM and NASA, and would help to define what computers and space travel would actually end up looking like in the 21st Century. 

And, inspired by the exhibits he saw at the Fair as a kid, he would build a couple of Museums on the very same fairgrounds in order to inspire other kids to dream about the future. 

At the base of the Space Needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair, Paul Allen built the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum.  



He also invited luminaries to serve on the Board of his Science Fiction Museum, on the same spot where he saw the World’s Fair exhibits—

celebrities that included Steven Spielberg, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Jeff Bezos of, George Lucas….. …..

and friend and director, James Cameron, 

(who directed Terminator with Arnold Schwarzenegger, husband of Maria Shriver, niece of John F. Kennedy.)

 Small World, eh?:-)

For you Elvis fans, here’s some guy’s home movies of Elvis at the World’s Fair—-I love Youtube, don’t you?


More trivia

….JFK was supposed to go to Seattle for the closing ceremonies of the World’s Fair, but didn’t due to the Cuban Missile Crisis: 


A few more good sites on the 1962 World’s Fair:

 *And just for fun, here’s one final connection….. 

Marilyn Monroe

starred in “The Misfits” directed by John Huston, father of Angelica Huston, who starred in “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”

with Bill Murray, who starred in “Lost in Translation”  

with…. ….Scarlett Johansson…. 


“The Perfect Score” 


Well, I guess I forgot about that “brevity is …..wit” thing:-). But the next question will be a piece of cake, I promise (and  you won’t grow old reading the answer:-).

Stay tuned……