Life was never fair

  Dear HCN, I just read the article "The West has a bad hand" by Jon Margolis (HCN, 10/23/00: In presidential politics, the West has a bad hand), where he stated that "Life is not fair ..." is generally attributed to John F. Kennedy.

Not exactly. No doubt it was said at some earlier time (perhaps more than once), but where U.S. presidents are concerned, the above quote can be attributed to Jimmy Carter, but the paraphrasing is not quite right. He said, "Who said life is fair?" The press made a big deal of it at the time. In fact, I was watching his speech on TV when he said it. It brought some laughter from the audience, and no doubt chuckles across the TV audience - as it is a truth they had grasped (and experienced) long before Carter said it. JFK perhaps said this line, but at the time it was not "played up" by the press.
Elaine Morrall

Flagstaff, Arizona