John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963)
He presided over such a tumultuous time in American history: the cold war, civil rights, Vietnam, the space program, all that crap with Cuba, and the birth of an all-time high in political activism. I think his speech at the Democratic Convention was prescient, and I love the philosophy of citizenship and self-determination that he summarized in this line about the new frontier.
For the problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won—and we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier ... But the New Frontier of which I speak is not a set of promises—it is a set of challenges. It sums up not what I intend to offer the American people, but what I intend to ask of them.
Now is a time when the public needs to remember this message. Our government was not formed to care for us, but to govern the process by which we care for one another. The government won't solve our problems; the hope is that it will enable the implementation of private solutions.
Rest in peace JFK.