Mathematical oddities in memory of President John F. Kennedy

The former president was assassinated 54 years ago today

By Aziz Inan | November 22, 2017 12:46am

The official White House photo of President Kennedy. From Wikimedia Commons. 


John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials, JFK, served as the 35th President of the United States before he was assassinated on November 22, 1963 [1].

JFK got elected at 43 and holds the record as the youngest-elected US president. While campaigning, JFK visited University of Portland and gave a speech in Howard Hall on May 16, 1960. Additionally, JFK passed away at 46 as the U.S. president who died the youngest. 

JFK has been the only Roman Catholic U.S. president.   

Since May 29 this year was JFK’s centennial birthday, if he was alive today, he would have been 100 years old. Sadly, November 22, 2017 this week will mark the 54th anniversary of JFK’s death. On the anniversary of this tragic event, I prepared the following mathematical oddities as a tribute to this honorable man:

1. JFK’s 100th birthday, May 29, was the 149th day of 2017, where 149 is the 35th prime number. Coincidentally, JFK served as the 35th US President. (JFK’s birthday always falls on the 149th day of each non-leap year.)

2. Furthermore, if JFK’s centennial birthday 05/29/2017 is split in the middle as 0529 and 2017, the sum of the digits of each of these two numbers are 16 and 10, respectively. Interestingly, 16 times 10 equals 160 and the 160th prime number is 941, with its reverse being 149. Again, the 149th day of 2017 coincides with JFK’s 100th birthday.

3. The product of 5 and 29, the month and day numbers of JFK’s birthday, equals 145, with its reverse being 541. Coincidentally, 541 is the 100th prime number, making JFK’s centennial birthday even more special.

4. Moreover, JFK’s centennial birthday 05/29/2017 has an interesting numerical property. If split as 05, 29, 20, and 17, the sum of the reverses of 05 and 29, namely, 50 and 92, equals the product of the reverses of 20 and 17, namely 02 and 71.

5. If numbers one to 26 are assigned to the letters of the English alphabet, the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Kennedy equals 78. If 78 is split as 7 and 8, the 8th and 7th prime numbers, namely 19 and 17, put side by side yield JFK’s birth year, 1917.

6. Additionally, 7 plus 8 is 15 which equals 3 times 5 where 3 and 5 side by side make 35 signifying the 35th presidency of JFK. Also, the 15th prime number is 47 which equals the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of John.

7. Also, 78 equals 3 times 26 where 3 and 26 put side by side gives 326 and coincidentally, JFK got killed on the 326th day of 1963, namely, 11/22/1963.

8. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of John Fitzgerald Kennedy equals 233 which is the 51st prime number where the reverse of 51, namely 15, equals the sum of the digits of 78 and the product of the digits of 35.

9. JFK died 177 days after his 46th birthday that occurred on 05/29/1963 where the digits of this date add up to 35. Further, the sum of the digits of 177 equals 15 which is 7 plus 8 (digits of 78) as well as 3 times 5 (digits of 35).

10. Also, 177 equals three times 59 where 59 equals the sum of three consecutive prime numbers, namely 17, 19, and 23, which constitute JFK’s birthday, 5/29/1917, since 529 equals the square of 23 and 1917 is made of 19 and 17 put side by side.

11. The reverse of JFK’s birth date 529, namely 925, coincides with the rightmost three digits of 1925, the year his brother Robert Francis Kennedy (RFK) was born. RFK got assassinated on June 6, 1968, at age 42.

12. If JFK’s birth year 1917 is separated into its alternating digits as 11 and 97, these two numbers add up to 108 which equals the sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Fitzgerald.

13. JFK turned 8 on a palindrome day expressed as 5/29/1925.

14. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of JFK equals 27 and interestingly, JFK turned 27 in the year 1944, which equals 27 times its reverse, namely 72. Furthermore, twice 27 gives 54 where note again that JFK died 54 years ago. 

15. JFK died at 46 which is 23 plus 23 where again, 23 times 23 equals 529 (JFK’s birth date, May 29). Also, the reverse of 29 (the day number of JFK’s birth), namely 92, equals twice 46.

16. The sum of the digits of 11/22/1963 (the day JFK died) equals 25 which is the square of five, the month number of JFK’s birth. (The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of JFK’s common name, Jack, equals 25 too.) Additionally, if 11/22/1963 is split in the middle as 1122 and 1963, these two numbers differ by 841 which equals the square of 29, the day number of JFK’s birth.

17. JFK served as US president for a total of 1037 days where 1037 equals 17 times 61 where these two prime numbers add up to 78 (Kennedy).

18. Moreover, if 1037 is split into 10 and 37, the sum and the difference of these two numbers yield 47 (John) and 27 (JFK), respectively.

19. The reverse of 1037, namely, 7301, equals 49 times 149 where again, the 149th day of 2017 coincides with JFK’s 100th birthday. Further, 49 and 149 differ by 100.

20. Moreover, the prime factors of 7301, namely 7 and 149, add up to twice 78 (Kennedy). Additionally, the difference of 7 and 149 equals 02 times 71 where the reverses of these two numbers, namely 20 and 17, put side by side makes 2017.

21. Also, 2017 is the 306th prime number where 306 equals 17 times 18. Note that 17 and 18 add up to 35, signifying the 35th presidency of JFK.

22. Further, half of 306, namely 153, times 47 (John) equals 7191, the reverse of which is 1917, JFK’s birth year.

23. Additionally, 153 equals the sum of 66, 19, and 68. The three numbers when put together side by side yield 6/6/1968, the day RFK got killed.

24. If JFK’s birthday 05/29/1917 is separated into its alternating digits as 0211 and 5997, respectively, 0211 is the 47th prime number (47 representing John) and the reverse of 0211, namely 1120, is November 20, the birth date of RFK. Additionally, 5997 minus twice 2017 yields 1963, the year Kennedy died.

25. Lastly, JFK’s 199th birthday in 2116 will be numerically special since 199 is the 46th prime number and 2116 equals the square of 46 where again, JFK died at 46.

[1] John F. Kennedy, Wikipedia

Aziz Inan is a professor of electrical engineering. He can be reached at