Who Is On The Half Dollar?

Who is on the U.S. half dollar?

John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president.

1964 kennedy half

50-cent half dollar coin featuring President John F. Kennedy. Designer: Gilroy Roberts

Much like Franklin Roosevelt's placement on the dime following his passing, "JFK" replaced Benjamin Franklin on the 50-cent coin the year after his assassination. In addition to being generally well-liked, Kennedy is remembered for being the youngest president ever elected and for managing the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Kennedy half dollar reverse design:

  • Heraldic eagle similar to Great Seal of United States (since 1964)


  • Much like FDR, JFK's death was honored with his placement on a coin denomination the following year.
  • Prior to Kennedy, the half dollar design pictured the "Founding Father" Benjamin Franklin (shown below) from 1948 to 1963.
  • Only 1964 Kennedy halves are 90% silver; from 1965–1970, they were made from 40% silver.
  • Half dollars saw widespread use in casinos during the 1960s and 1970s, even as they fell out of favor for general circulation.
franklin half dollar

Half dollar featu

Find more information about who is on each U.S. coin by following the links below:

Who Is On the Penny?

Who Is On the Nickel?

Who is On the Dime?

Who Is On the Quarter?

Who Is On the Dollar Coin?

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Everett Millman

Everett Millman

Managing Editor | Analyst, Commodities and Finance

Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.

In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in Reuters, CNN Business, Bloomberg Radio, TD Ameritrade Network, CoinWeek, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.