Why This day of JFK’s Assassination 50 Years Ago Drove My Career Choice

jfkI looked it up and the high Temperature for November 22, 1963 in Billings, Montana was 39 degrees. Ironically, checking today’s forecast there, it looks about the same with lows in the teens. I remember it was a grey day in Billings the day Kennedy was shot. I was in the 7th grade attending Lewis and Clark Junior High School. I recall that an assembly was called over the loud speaker and we all dashed down to the Junior H.S. lunch room where one of the teachers somberly pronounced the shooting and death of our President. 


President Kennedy had visited Billings just two months earlier. It was a grand and important day in Montana history when a sitting President had thought so much of our beautiful but sparsely populated State that he would come for a personal visit. And now he was dead – shot by an assassin no less.


So I had, for the first time in my life, become intrigued by politics. Kennedy’s death sparked a deep seated interest by me. I began running for school office and was elected class President. Later I would represent tiny Red Lodge Montana at Boys State and get elected Secretary of State for our State wide high school political system. So when I arrived at Brigham Young University in the Fall of 1969, my natural major was Political Science. I eventually graduated in that discipline but then realized there was very little career path for a Poly Sci grad so I went onto Law School and for the first 25 years of my career, I practiced in the law. The law led me to the computer industry, which led me to business, which led to my diving in and running businesses that have seen some pretty good success.

Honestly, looking back, I am not sure I would have chosen Political Science for my college major had it not been for November 22, 1963. It shocked all of our system. I had been aware generally of our previous U.S. President, a war hero named Dwight D. Eisenhower, but but until Kennedy – this dashing, incredibly articulate, and dynamic young man– became President, what was happening in our American political system was of no interest to me.

I encourage you to look back on your life and figure out those events that occurred in your life that drove your career choice and then use those experiences to help guide others in moving their life’s work forward.

Posted in Posted in Entrepreneurship, Lessons Learned  |  1 Comments

“Why This day of JFK’s Assassination 50 Years Ago Drove My Career Choice”

  1. Thanks, Dave, publishing statements such as these take enormous honesty with oneself and courage.I am where I am now because of events that were not too fortunate.
    I wonder how to balance the emotions of the negativity of those times and the appreciation of where I am today.

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