John Kennedy began a career in the rail industry as a track laborer. After “saving up dimes” for seven years, John founded Kennedy Railroad Builders in Harrisburg in 1965. In 1980, John was elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. After four terms, he kept a public commitment to the idea of the citizen legislature by returning to his private railroad business.
John is the first known legislator to decline the lucrative government pension bestowed upon members of the General Assembly. His eight years in public life were defined by what the Harrisburg Patriot-News called “pounding away for internal reform that is essential to restore public faith in the Legislature as an institution of integrity and accountability.”
Retired from his private business, John advises his three sons, keepers of the Kennedy love affair with rail. He currently serves as the Chairman of CAP and has been a driving force behind the organization’s success. His life’s work is to restore the role of the entrepreneur in governance as the founders intended.