WASHINGTON (CNN) - The young senator inspired a new generation of voters with his message of change and extended America's hand to the global community in an effort to promote a different kind of diplomacy.
One magazine characterized him as having a "quick charm, the patience to listen, a sure social touch, an interest in knowledge and a greed for facts."
A biographer recalled that he "had to touch the secret fears and ambivalent longings of the American heart, divine and speak to the desires of a swiftly changing nation - his message grounded on his own intuition of some vague and spreading desire for national renewal."
Those words could have been written about Barack Obama's rise to the presidency last year but actually come from coverage about the ascendancy of John F. Kennedy to the White House.
Kennedy's presidency is remembered as "Camelot," for the Broadway show about an idealized King Arthur's Court that opened the month after Kennedy won the presidency in November 1960.
After JFK's assassination in 1963, the Camelot legacy was handed down to younger brother Robert Kennedy, who served as John Kennedy's attorney general and was later elected to the Senate from New York. Ted Kennedy assumed the mantle after Robert Kennedy was assassinated during his run for the presidency in 1968.
And with the death of the youngest Kennedy brother, the question arises: Has Obama become the Kennedy family's heir apparent?