Born at Georgetown University Hospital sixteen days after his father was elected to the presidency, Kennedy was in the public spotlight from his father's inauguration as President of the United States in 1961 until his death in 1999. For most of the first three years of his life he lived in the White House. His nickname "John-John" came from a reporter mishearing JFK calling him ("John" spoken twice in quick succession). Though he was often referred to publicly as "John-John", members of the Kennedy family themselves did not use the nickname.
His father was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963, and three days later, on his third birthday, the funeral procession was held. In a moment that became an emotional and iconic image of the 1960s, young JFK, Jr. stepped forward and rendered a final salute as the flag-draped casket was carried out from St. Matthew's Cathedral. Following his father's assassination, Kennedy grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, and in 1968, his mother married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, whom she had met in the early 1960s. Their marriage lasted until Onassis' death in 1975, when John, Jr. was fourteen years old.