James T. Snyder Law, PLLC
Personal Injury Attorney


James T. Snyder Law Blog

Back injury update: John F. Kennedy's struggle with chronic back injury, disease, surgeries and pain.


Many of my clients over the years have suffered from every kind of back injury, from sports injuries, car collisions, construction accidents and medical malpractice.  Now we know in much greater detail how seriously President John F. Kennedy suffered from a bad back and chronic back pain.  In a recent Journal of Neurosurgery article, two neurosurgeons, T. Glenn Pait, M.D., and Justin T. Dowdy, M.D., wrote a fascinating article about President Kennedy’s severe and debilitating back issues, and how it affected his life and presidency -- even possibly the cause of his remaining upright in the seat of his limousine in Dallas on November 22, 1963, by wearing a canvas corset worn around his hips and lower back that “played a role in setting up Oswald’s final shot.”

The article is entitled: “John F. Kennedy’s back: chronic pain, failed surgeries, and the story of its effects on his life and death.”  You can find the article in the September 2017 Journal of Neurosurgery here:


It is accessible and easy to read for an article in an academic medical journal, laying out Kennedy’s back condition and medical treatment history, with illustrations, from his football-playing days at Harvard to his assassination in 1963.  An excellent primer for anyone looking to understand how debilitating chronic back pain from injuries and failed surgical interventions can be.

James Snyder