John Forbes Kerry is an American politician and diplomat, currently serving as the first United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. He previously served as the 68th United States Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017. An attorney and former naval officer, Kerry first drew public attention as a decorated Vietnam veteran turned anti-war activist. He went on to serve as a prosecutor and as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, before serving as United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in the 2004 election, which he lost to incumbent President George W. Bush. As of 2021, he is the last Democratic presidential candidate to lose the popular vote.
Kerry grew up as a military brat in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. before attending boarding school in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In 1966, after graduating from Yale University, Kerry enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve, ultimately attaining the rank of lieutenant. From 1968 to 1969, during the Vietnam War, he served an abbreviated four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam.