Johnny Burns was a Kennedy family friend and a judge in Massachusetts. He was asked by the Kennedy’s to provide a reference for Jack for his application to become an officer in the United States naval reserve. He wrote,
In many respects he is a very unusual youngster. He has good judgement, a keen intellect and a great reputation everywhere. Most boys with prominent parents get an inflated opinion of themselves, but John has never been that way. He is regular all the way through and shows definite signs of great character. I can not recommend him too highly.
[3, p. 407]