The presidency of John F. Kennedy is being re-examined this month the 50th anniversary of his assassination approaches. Books are being released, symposiums are being held and mass media is taking another look inside the man, his image and his leadership, including tonight on WGBH's American Experience.

"Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."

Before those famous speeches and off-the-cuff news conferences, John F. Kennedy's roots were here in Boston where he was born and raised. And few, if any, who knew him here thought he could ever rise to the political force he would become.

Susan Bellows, the producer and director of the documentary "JFK" from American Experience, airing November 11 and 12, told me the story of that transformation was bigger than first thought.

"When we started the project, we thought, you know, you kind of do a calculation," she said. "You wonder what percentage we devote to the presidency. Well, I'm sure the bulk of the film will deal with the presidency. There were a tremendous amount of pivotal events that occurred during his time in office.But as we got deeper into the project, we realized that his journey, his political journey, was very fascinating, and something people didn't know very much about."