Who Are John Kelly’s Family? Full Details

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John Francis Kelly is an American former political strategist and retired United States Marine Corps general who served as President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff from 2017 to 2019.

John Kelly’s Biography

John Francis Kelly was born on May 11, 1950, in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in the Brighton neighbourhood of Boston and came from a Catholic family of Irish and Italian descent. In Brighton, his father worked as a postal worker.

Kelly hitchhiked to Washington State when he was young and hopped trains back, including a freight hop from Seattle to Chicago. He subsequently served in the United States Merchant Marine for a year, bringing beer to Vietnam.

Kelly was enrolled in the United States Marine Corps when his draft number came up in 1970.

Kelly served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War until being released as a sergeant in 1972 to attend college. After completing Officer Candidates School, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant and returned to active duty in 1975.

Kelly served in a variety of roles and advanced through the ranks during his military tenure. He led a rifle and weapons company, was a battalion operations commander, and worked at Marine Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C.

He also attended the Command and Staff College of the Marine Corps and the School for Advanced Warfare.

Kelly served as the assistant division commander with the 1st Marine Division in Iraq in 2002. While in Iraq, he was elevated to brigadier general, making him the first Marine Corps colonel to be promoted in an active combat zone since Chesty Puller in 1951.

Kelly served in a variety of leadership roles during his tour in Iraq, including legislative assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and commanding general of the I Marine Expeditionary Force. He was named commander of US Southern Command in November 2012.

Kelly was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security by President Donald Trump in January 2017. He developed a reputation for being a tough enforcer of immigration law.

After six months, he was chosen to succeed Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff, making him the first professional military officer to hold the role since Alexander Haig in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

Kelly encountered issues and disagreements within the White House throughout his stint as Chief of Staff. He resigned in December of 2018.

Kelly joined the board of advisors of DC Capital Partners, an investment group that controls Caliburn International, a corporation that operates detention facilities along the southern border and in Florida, after leaving the White House. This appointment prompted questions about potential conflicts of interest.

Kelly received various honours and distinctions throughout his service, including the Defence Distinguished Service Medal, the Defence Superior Service Medal, and the Bronze Star Medal.

Despite disagreements and scandals, John Kelly’s military and political career has had a lasting impact on American administration and policy.

Who Are John Kelly’s Family?

John Kelly’s family consists of his wife, Karen Hernest, as well as his three children; Robert Michael Kelly, Kathleen Kelly and  John Kelly Jr.




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