Indeed, he laid down the template that many politicians have since emulated – the Western equivalent of the cult of personality.
Without JFK, there would have been no Clinton, Obama, Blair or even Cameron. This has reshaped our politics to the degree that a leader is deemed electable or unelectable based on the projection of a media image or persona.
But that shift from Eisenhower to JFK signals a quantum leap from the old world into the new, from the staid post-war 1950s into the space age.
The point is that JFK wrote the rule book we are still following.
There was the deliberate cultivation of the pageantry of glamour swirling around America’s first royal family – for example, through Jackie’s White House dinners attended by writers, artists and entertainers. One immediately thinks of the photo of Kennedy as President-elect arriving for Christmas mass with prayer book in hand at Palm Beach.
He was the first TV president and with his wife Jackie they were idolised by many and since his assassination in 1963, he has been immortalised in time as a heroic figure.
But, asks Youssef El-Gingihy, if his presidency carried on into a second term, would he have remained so popular?
His staff created the impression of warm, sweet and nice to people, reads a lot of books, a philosopher, and all that sort of thing.
That was a pure creation of mythology.” We are really talking about what marketing gurus would term the JFK brand.