Robert F. Kennedy
Overview
 
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 politician, a Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family
Kennedy family
In the United States, the phrase Kennedy family commonly refers to the family descending from the marriage of the Irish-Americans Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald that was prominent in American politics and government. Their political involvement has revolved around the...

, he was a younger brother of President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and acted as one of his advisors during his presidency. From 1961 to 1964, he was the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

.

Following his brother John's assassination
John F. Kennedy assassination
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

 on November 22, 1963, Kennedy continued to serve as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 for nine months.
Quotations

The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use — of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.

"I Remember, I Believe", The Pursuit of Justice (1964)

Now I can go back to being ruthless again.

After winning his race for a seat in the US Senate. Esquire (April 1965)

A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability.

Speech in the US Senate (9 May 1966)

Every dictatorship has ultimately strangled in the web of repression it wove for its people, making mistakes that could not be corrected because criticism was prohibited.

"Value of Dissent" speech Nashville, Tennessee (1968-03-21)

Encyclopedia
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 politician, a Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family
Kennedy family
In the United States, the phrase Kennedy family commonly refers to the family descending from the marriage of the Irish-Americans Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald that was prominent in American politics and government. Their political involvement has revolved around the...

, he was a younger brother of President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and acted as one of his advisors during his presidency. From 1961 to 1964, he was the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

.

Following his brother John's assassination
John F. Kennedy assassination
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

 on November 22, 1963, Kennedy continued to serve as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 for nine months. In September 1964, Kennedy resigned to seek the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 seat from New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, which he won in November. Within a few years, he publicly split with Johnson over the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.

In March 1968
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

, Kennedy began a campaign for the presidency and was a front-running candidate of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. In the California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 presidential primary
United States presidential primary
The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses is one of the first steps in the process of electing the President of the United States of America. The primary elections are run by state and local governments, while caucuses are private events run by the political parties...

 on June 4, Kennedy defeated Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

, a U.S. Senator from Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

. Following a brief victory speech delivered just past midnight on June 5 at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, Kennedy was shot
Robert F. Kennedy assassination
The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, a United States Senator and brother of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, took place shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California...

 by Sirhan Sirhan
Sirhan Sirhan
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan is a Jordanian citizen who was convicted for the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He is serving a life sentence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.Sirhan was a Christian Arab born in Jerusalem who strongly opposed Israel...

. Mortally wounded, he survived for nearly 26 hours, dying early in the morning of June 6.

Early life, education, and military service

Kennedy was born on November 20, 1925, in Brookline
Brookline, Massachusetts
Brookline is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States, which borders on the cities of Boston and Newton. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 58,732.-Etymology:...

, Massachusetts, the seventh child of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose E. Fitzgerald
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
Rose Elizabeth Kennedy was the wife of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and the mother of nine children, among them United States President John F. Kennedy, United States Senator Robert F...

.

In September 1927, the Kennedy family
Kennedy family
In the United States, the phrase Kennedy family commonly refers to the family descending from the marriage of the Irish-Americans Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald that was prominent in American politics and government. Their political involvement has revolved around the...

 moved to Riverdale, New York, a neighborhood in the Bronx, then two years later, moved 5 miles (8 km) northeast to Bronxville
Bronxville, New York
Bronxville is an affluent village within the town of Eastchester, New York, in the United States. It is a suburb of New York City, located approximately north of midtown Manhattan in southern Westchester County. At the 2010 census, Bronxville had a population of 6,323...

, New York. Kennedy spent summers with his family at their home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, and Christmas and Easter holidays with his family at their winter home in Palm Beach
Palm Beach, Florida
The Town of Palm Beach is an incorporated town in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth...

, Florida, purchased in 1933. He attended public elementary school in Riverdale from kindergarten through second grade; then Bronxville School
Bronxville Union Free School District
Bronxville Union Free School District is a public school district in Bronxville, Westchester County, New York. In 2007, 1569 students were enrolled in the district's schools. It is located at 177 Pondfield Road, Bronxville, New York 10708....

, the public school in Bronxville, from third through fifth grade, repeating the third grade; then Riverdale Country School
Riverdale Country School
Riverdale Country School is a co-educational, independent, college-preparatory day school in New York City. One of the most competitive private schools in the nation, it is located on two campuses covering more than in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, New York.-History:Founded in 1907 by Dr...

, a private school for boys in Riverdale, for sixth grade.

In March 1938, when he was 12, Kennedy sailed aboard the with his mother and his four youngest siblings to England, where his father had begun serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom
United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
The office of United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom was traditionally, and still is very much so today due to the Special Relationship, the most prestigious position in the United States Foreign Service...

. Kennedy attended the private Gibbs School for Boys at 134 Sloane Street
Sloane Street
Sloane Street is a major London street which runs north to south, from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square, crossing Pont Street about half way along, entirely in The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Sloane Street takes its name from Sir Hans Sloane, who purchased the surrounding area in 1712...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 for seventh grade, returning to the U.S. just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe.

In September 1939, for eighth grade, Kennedy was sent 200 miles (321.9 km) away from home to St. Paul's School, an elite private preparatory
University-preparatory school
A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...

 school for boys in Concord
Concord, New Hampshire
The city of Concord is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695....

, New Hampshire. However, he did not like it and his mother thought it too Episcopalian. It was for these reasons that—after two months at St. Paul's—Kennedy transferred to Portsmouth Priory School
Portsmouth Abbey School
Portsmouth Abbey School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for grades 9 through 12, located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Founded by the Benedictine monks of Portsmouth Abbey in 1926 as Portsmouth Priory School, the school offered a classical education to boys...

, a Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 boarding school for boys in Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Portsmouth is a town in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 17,389 at the 2010 U.S. Census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it is water. Most of its land area lies on Aquidneck...

, Rhode Island, for eighth through tenth grades. In September 1942, Kennedy transferred to Milton Academy
Milton Academy
Milton Academy is a coeducational, independent preparatory, boarding and day school in Milton, Massachusetts consisting of a grade 9–12 Upper School and a grade K–8 Lower School. Boarding is offered starting in 9th grade...

, a third boarding school in Milton
Milton, Massachusetts
Milton is a town in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States and part of the Greater Boston area. The population was 27,003 at the 2010 census. Milton is the birthplace of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and architect Buckminster Fuller. Milton also has the highest percentage of...

, Massachusetts, for eleventh and twelfth grades.

Six weeks before his eighteenth birthday, Kennedy enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve
United States Navy Reserve
The United States Navy Reserve, until 2005 known as the United States Naval Reserve, is the Reserve Component of the United States Navy...

 as an apprentice seaman
Seaman Apprentice
ConstructionmanvariationFiremanvariationAirmanvariationSeamaninsigniaSeaman apprentice is the second lowest enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above seaman recruit and below seaman; this rank was formerly known as seaman second class.The actual title for an E-2 in the U.S....

, released from active duty until March 1944 when he left Milton Academy early to report to the V-12 Navy College Training Program
V-12 Navy College Training Program
The V-12 Navy College Training Program was designed to supplement the force of commissioned officers in the United States Navy during World War II...

 at Harvard College
Harvard College
Harvard College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of two schools within Harvard University granting undergraduate degrees...

 in Cambridge
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...

, Massachusetts. His V-12 training was at Harvard (March–November 1944); Bates College
Bates College
Bates College is a highly selective, private liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Maine, in the United States. and was most recently ranked 21st in the nation in the 2011 US News Best Liberal Arts Colleges rankings. The college was founded in 1855 by abolitionists...

 in Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston is a city in Androscoggin County in Maine, and the second-largest city in the state. The population was 41,592 at the 2010 census. It is one of two principal cities of and included within the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine metropolitan New England city and town area and the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine...

 (November 1944 – June 1945); and Harvard (June 1945 – January 1946). On December 15, 1945, the U.S. Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 commissioned the destroyer
Destroyer
In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

 USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.
USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (DD-850)
USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. is a of the United States Navy.The ship was named after Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., a naval aviator, son of the former Ambassador to Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., and older brother of future President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy would serve, with interruptions...

, and shortly thereafter granted Kennedy's request to be released from naval-officer training to serve starting on February 1, 1946, as an apprentice seaman on the ship's shakedown cruise
Shakedown cruise
Shakedown cruise is a nautical term in which the performance of a ship is tested. Shakedown cruises are also used to familiarize the ship's crew with operation of the craft....

 in the Caribbean
Caribbean Sea
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, and to the east by the Lesser Antilles....

. On May 30, 1946, he received his honorable discharge from the Navy.

In September 1946, Kennedy entered Harvard as a junior, having received credit for his two and a half years in the V-12 program. Kennedy worked hard to make the Harvard varsity
Varsity team
In the United States and Canada, varsity sports teams are the principal athletic teams representing a college, university, high school or other secondary school. Such teams compete against the principal athletic teams at other colleges/universities, or in the case of secondary schools, against...

 football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 team as an end, was a starter
Starting lineup
A starting lineup in sports is an official list of the set of players who will actively participate in the event when the game begins. The players in the starting lineup are commonly referred to as starters, whereas the others are substitutes or bench players.The starters are commonly the best...

 and scored a touchdown
Touchdown
A touchdown is a means of scoring in American and Canadian football. Whether running, passing, returning a kickoff or punt, or recovering a turnover, a team scores a touchdown by advancing the ball into the opponent's end zone.-Description:...

 in the first game of his senior year before breaking his leg in practice, earning his varsity letter
Varsity letter
A varsity letter is an award earned in the United States for excellence in school activities. A varsity letter signifies that its winner was a qualified varsity team member, awarded after a certain standard was met.- Description :...

 when his coach sent him in for the last minutes of the Harvard-Yale game wearing a cast. Kennedy graduated from Harvard with an A.B.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in government
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 in March 1948 and immediately sailed off on with a college friend for a six-month tour of Europe and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, accredited as a correspondent of the Boston Post
Boston Post
The Boston Post was the most popular daily newspaper in New England for over a hundred years before it folded in 1956. The Post was founded in November 1831 by two prominent Boston businessmen, Charles G...

, for which he filed six stories. Four of these stories, filed from Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 shortly before the end of the British Mandate, provided a first-hand view of the tensions
Robert Kennedy in Palestine (1948)
Robert F. Kennedy visited the British Mandate of Palestine in 1948, one month before Israel declared its independence. Twenty-two years old at the time, he was reporting on the tense situation in the region for The Boston Post. During his stay, he grew to admire the Jewish inhabitants of the area...

. He was critical of the British policy in Palestine. Further, he praised the Jewish people he met there "as hardy and tough". Kennedy held out some hope after seeing Arabs and Jews working side by side but, in the end felt the "hate" in Palestine was too strong and would lead to a war. His prediction came to pass with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

.

In September 1948, Kennedy enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law
University of Virginia School of Law
The University of Virginia School of Law was founded in Charlottesville in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson as one of the original subjects taught at his "academical village," the University of Virginia. The law school maintains an enrollment of approximately 1,100 students in its initial degree program...

 in Charlottesville
Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.The official population estimate for...

. On June 17, 1950, Kennedy married Ethel Skakel at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenwich
Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 61,171. It is home to many hedge funds and other financial service companies. Greenwich is the southernmost and westernmost municipality in Connecticut and is 38+ minutes ...

, Connecticut. Kennedy graduated from law school in June 1951 and flew with Ethel to Greenwich to stay in his father-in-law's guest house. Kennedy's first child, Kathleen
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend , is an American attorney who was the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003. She ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Maryland in 2002. In 2010 she became the chair of the non-profit American Bridge, an organization that will raise funds for Democratic...

, was born on July 4, 1951, and Kennedy spent the summer studying for the Massachusetts bar exam.

In September 1951, Kennedy went to San Francisco as a correspondent of the Boston Post to cover the convention concluding the Treaty of Peace with Japan
Treaty of San Francisco
The Treaty of Peace with Japan , between Japan and part of the Allied Powers, was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California...

. In October 1951, Kennedy embarked on a seven-week Asian trip with his brother John (then Massachusetts 11th district
Massachusetts's 11th congressional district
Massachusetts Congressional District 11 is an obsolete congressional district in eastern Massachusetts. It was eliminated in 1993 after the 1990 U.S. Census. Its last Congressman was Brian Donnelly; its most notable were future Presidents John Quincy Adams and John F. Kennedy and Speaker Tip...

 congressman
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

) and his sister Patricia
Patricia Kennedy Lawford
Patricia "Pat" Kennedy Lawford was an American socialite and the sixth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald, sister to President John F. Kennedy, Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M...

 to Israel, India, Vietnam, and Japan. Because of their eight-year separation in age, the two brothers had previously seen little of each other. This 25000 miles (40,233.5 km) trip was the first extended time they had spent together and served to deepen their relationship.

Early career until 1960

In November 1951, Kennedy moved with his wife and daughter to a townhouse in Georgetown
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Georgetown is a neighborhood located in northwest Washington, D.C., situated along the Potomac River. Founded in 1751, the port of Georgetown predated the establishment of the federal district and the City of Washington by 40 years...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and started work as a lawyer in the Internal Security Section (which investigated suspected Soviet agents) of the Criminal Division
United States Department of Justice Criminal Division
The U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division develops, enforces, and supervises the application of all federal criminal laws in the United States, except those specifically assigned to other divisions. Criminal Division attorneys prosecute many nationally significant cases and formulate and...

 of the U.S. Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

. In February 1952, he was transferred to the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

 to prosecute fraud cases. On June 6, 1952, Kennedy resigned to manage his brother John's successful 1952 U.S. Senate campaign
United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 1952
The United States Senate election of 1952 in Massachusetts was held on November 4, 1952. This election marked the end of the Lodge family dynasty and the beginning of the Kennedy family dynasty.-The campaign:...

 in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

.

In December 1952, at the behest of his father, he was appointed by Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 Senator Joe McCarthy as assistant counsel of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He resigned in July 1953, but "retained a fondness for McCarthy." After a period as an assistant to his father on the Hoover Commission
Hoover Commission
The Hoover Commission, officially named the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, was a body appointed by President Harry S. Truman in 1947 to recommend administrative changes in the Federal Government of the United States...

, Kennedy rejoined the Senate committee staff as chief counsel for the Democratic minority in February 1954. When the Democrats gained the majority in January 1955, he became chief counsel. Kennedy was a background figure in the televised McCarthy Hearings
Army-McCarthy Hearings
The Army–McCarthy hearings were a series of hearings held by the United States Senate's Subcommittee on Investigations between April 1954 and June 1954. The hearings were held for the purpose of investigating conflicting accusations between the United States Army and Senator Joseph McCarthy...

 of 1954 into the conduct of McCarthy.

Kennedy worked as an aide to Adlai Stevenson during the 1956 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1956
The United States presidential election of 1956 saw a popular Dwight D. Eisenhower successfully run for re-election. The 1956 election was a rematch of 1952, as Eisenhower's opponent in 1956 was Democrat Adlai Stevenson, whom Eisenhower had defeated four years earlier.Incumbent President Eisenhower...

 to learn for a future national campaign by John. The candidate did not impress Kennedy, however, and he voted for incumbent Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

. Kennedy soon made a name for himself as the chief counsel of the 1957–59 Senate Labor Rackets Committee
United States Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management
The United States Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in Labor and Management was a select committee created by the United States Senate on January 30, 1957, and dissolved on March 31, 1960...

 under chairman John L. McClellan. In a dramatic scene, Kennedy squared off with Teamsters
Teamsters
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a labor union in the United States and Canada. Formed in 1903 by the merger of several local and regional locals of teamsters, the union now represents a diverse membership of blue-collar and professional workers in both the public and private sectors....

 union President Jimmy Hoffa
Jimmy Hoffa
James Riddle "Jimmy" Hoffa was an American labor union leader....

 during the antagonistic argument that marked Hoffa's testimony. Kennedy left the Rackets Committee in late 1959 in order to run his brother John's successful presidential campaign.

In 1960, he published the book The Enemy Within, describing the corrupt practices within the Teamsters and other unions that he had helped investigate; the book sold very well.

Attorney General of the United States (1961–1964)

John F. Kennedy's choice of Robert Kennedy as Attorney General following his election victory in 1960 was controversial, with The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

 and The New Republic
The New Republic
The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

 calling him inexperienced and unqualified. He had no experience in any state or federal court, causing the President to joke, "I can't see that it's wrong to give him a little legal experience before he goes out to practice law." There was precedent, however, in an Attorney General being appointed because of his role as a close adviser to the President, and Kennedy had significant experience in handling organized crime. After performing well in the Senate hearing he easily won confirmation in January 1961. To compensate for his deficiencies Kennedy chose an "outstanding" group of deputy and assistant attorneys general, including Byron White
Byron White
Byron Raymond "Whizzer" White won fame both as a football halfback and as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Appointed to the court by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, he served until his retirement in 1993...

 and Nicholas Katzenbach
Nicholas Katzenbach
Nicholas deBelleville Katzenbach is an American lawyer who served as United States Attorney General during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.-Early life:...

.

Robert Kennedy's tenure as Attorney General was easily the period of greatest power for the office; no previous United States Attorney General
United States Attorney General
The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

 had enjoyed such clear influence on all areas of policy during an administration. To a great extent, President Kennedy sought the advice and counsel of his younger brother, resulting in Robert Kennedy remaining the President's closest political adviser. Kennedy was relied upon as both the President's primary source of administrative information and as a general counsel with whom trust was implicit, given the familial ties of the two men.

President Kennedy once remarked about his brother that, "If I want something done and done immediately I rely on the Attorney General. He is very much the doer in this administration, and has an organizational gift I have rarely if ever seen surpassed."

Yet Robert Kennedy believed strongly in the separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 and thus often chose not to comment on matters of policy not relating to his remit or to forward the enquiry of the President to an officer of the administration better suited to offer counsel.

Berlin

As one of President Kennedy’s closest White House advisers, RFK played a crucial role in the events surrounding the Berlin Crisis of 1961
Berlin Crisis of 1961
The Berlin Crisis of 1961 was the last major politico-military European incident of the Cold War about the occupational status of the German capital city, Berlin, and of post–World War II Germany. The U.S.S.R...

. Operating mainly through a private backchannel connection to Soviet spy Georgi Bolshakov
Georgi Bolshakov
Georgi Bolshakov was a Soviet journalist, embassy officer, and spy who was posted to Washington, DC on multiple occasions, most significantly in the early 1960s. In this capacity, he played a major role in US and Soviet diplomacy during the beginning of the John F. Kennedy administration. ...

, RFK relayed important diplomatic communications between the US and Soviet governments. Most significantly, this connection helped the US set up the Vienna Summit in June 1961 and later defuse the tank standoff with the Soviets at Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War....

 in October.

Organized crime and the Teamsters

As Attorney General, Kennedy pursued a relentless crusade against organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 and the mafia
American Mafia
The American Mafia , is an Italian-American criminal society. Much like the Sicilian Mafia, the American Mafia has no formal name and is a secret criminal society. Its members usually refer to it as Cosa Nostra or by its English translation "our thing"...

, sometimes disagreeing on strategy with J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (FBI). Convictions against organized-crime figures rose by 800 percent during his term.

Kennedy was relentless in his pursuit of Teamsters
Teamsters
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a labor union in the United States and Canada. Formed in 1903 by the merger of several local and regional locals of teamsters, the union now represents a diverse membership of blue-collar and professional workers in both the public and private sectors....

 union President Jimmy Hoffa
Jimmy Hoffa
James Riddle "Jimmy" Hoffa was an American labor union leader....

, resulting from widespread knowledge of Hoffa's corruption in financial and electoral actions, both personally and organizationally. The enmity between the two men was something of a cause célèbre
Cause célèbre
A is an issue or incident arousing widespread controversy, outside campaigning and heated public debate. The term is particularly used in connection with celebrated legal cases. It is a French phrase in common English use...

 during the period, with accusations of personal vendetta being exchanged between Kennedy and Hoffa. Hoffa was eventually to face open, televised hearings before Kennedy, as Attorney General, which became iconic moments in Kennedy's political career and earned him both praise and criticism from the press. When a key witness surfaced, Edward Grady Partin
Edward Grady Partin
Edward Grady Partin, Sr. , was a business agent of the Teamsters Union in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His testimony in 1964 helped to convict union president James Riddle Hoffa of jury tampering.-Early years:...

 of Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and is the second-largest city in the state.Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South...

, Hoffa was convicted of jury tampering
Jury tampering
Jury tampering is the crime of unduly attempting to influence the composition and/or decisions of a jury during the course of a trial.The means by which this crime could be perpetrated can include attempting to discredit potential jurors to ensure they will not be selected for duty. Once selected,...

.

As Attorney General

Kennedy expressed the administration's commitment to civil rights during a 1961 speech at the University of Georgia Law School:

In 1963, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who hated civil-rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 and viewed him as an upstart troublemaker, presented Kennedy with allegations that some of King's close confidants and advisers were communists. Concerned that the allegations, if made public, would derail the Administration's civil rights initiatives, Kennedy warned King to discontinue the suspect associations, and later felt compelled to issue a written directive authorizing the FBI to wiretap King and other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is an African-American civil rights organization. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr...

, King's civil rights organization. Although Kennedy only gave written approval for limited wiretapping of King's phones "on a trial basis, for a month or so", Hoover extended the clearance so his men were "unshackled" to look for evidence in any areas of King's life they deemed worthy. The wire tapping continued through June 1966 and was revealed in 1968, days before Kennedy's death.

Kennedy remained committed to civil rights enforcement to such a degree that he commented, in 1962, that it seemed to envelop almost every area of his public and private life—from prosecuting corrupt southern electoral officials to answering late night calls from Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader. The widow of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.Mrs...

 concerning the imprisonment of her husband for demonstrations in Alabama. During his tenure as Attorney General, he undertook the most energetic and persistent desegregation of the administration that Capitol Hill had ever experienced. He demanded that every area of government begin recruiting realistic levels of black and other ethnic workers, going so far as to criticize Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 for his failure to desegregate his own office staff.

Although it has become commonplace to assert the phrase "The Kennedy Administration" or even "President Kennedy" when discussing the legislative and executive support of the civil rights movement, between 1960 and 1963, a great many of the initiatives that occurred during President Kennedy's tenure were as a result of the passion and determination of an emboldened Robert Kennedy, who through his rapid education in the realities of Southern racism, underwent a thorough conversion of purpose as Attorney General. Asked in an interview in May 1962, "What do you see as the big problem ahead for you, is it Crime or Internal Security?" Robert Kennedy replied, "Civil Rights." The President came to share his brother's sense of urgency on the matters at hand to such an extent that it was at the Attorney General's insistence that he made his famous address to the nation.

Robert Kennedy played a large role in the Freedom Rides. After the Anniston bus bombings, Kennedy acted to protect the Riders in continuing their journey. Kennedy sent John Seigenthaler, his administrative assistant, to Alabama to attempt to secure the riders safety there. He also forced the Greyhound bus company to provide the Freedom Riders with a bus driver to insure they could continue their journey. Later, during the attack and burning, by a white mob, of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery Alabama, at which Martin Luther King, Jr. and some 1,500 sympathizers were in attendance, the Attorney General telephoned King to ask his assurance that they would not leave the building until the force of U.S. Marshals
United States Marshals Service
The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

 and National Guard he sent had secured the area. King proceeded to berate Kennedy for "allowing the situation to continue". King later publicly thanked Robert Kennedy for his commanding of the force dispatched to break up an attack that might otherwise have ended King's life.

Kennedy then negotiated the safe passage of the Freedom Riders from the First Baptist Church to Jackson Mississippi, where they were arrested. He offered to bail the Freedom Riders out of jail, but they refused. This upset Kennedy, who went as far to call any bandwagoners of the original freedom rides “honkers”.

Kennedy’s attempts to end the Freedom Rides early were in many ways tied to an upcoming summit with Khrushchev and De Gaulle, believing the continued international publicity of race riots would tarnish the President heading into international negotiations. This reluctance to protect and advance the Freedom Rides alienated him too many of the Civil Rights leaders at the time as intolerant and narrow minded.

In September 1962, he sent U.S. Marshals to Oxford, Mississippi
Oxford, Mississippi
Oxford is a city in, and the county seat of, Lafayette County, Mississippi, United States. Founded in 1835, it was named after the British university city of Oxford in hopes of having the state university located there, which it did successfully attract....

, to enforce a federal court order allowing the admittance of the first African American student, James Meredith
James Meredith
James H. Meredith is an American civil rights movement figure, a writer, and a political adviser. In 1962, he was the first African American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi, an event that was a flashpoint in the American civil rights movement. Motivated by President...

, to the University of Mississippi
University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, is a public, coeducational research university located in Oxford, Mississippi. Founded in 1844, the school is composed of the main campus in Oxford, four branch campuses located in Booneville, Grenada, Tupelo, and Southaven as well as the...

. Kennedy had hoped that legal means, along with the escort of U.S. Marshals, would be enough to force the Governor to allow the school admission. He also was very concerned there might be a "mini-civil war" between the U.S. Army troops and armed protesters. President John F. Kennedy reluctantly sent federal troops after the situation on campus turned violent. Ensuing riots
Ole Miss riot of 1962
The Ole Miss riot 1962 was a riot fought between Southern segregationist civilians and federal and state forces as a result of the forced enrollment of black student James Meredith at the University of Mississippi at Oxford, Mississippi.On October 1, 1962, James H...

 during the period of Meredith's admittance resulted in hundreds of injuries and two deaths. Yet Kennedy remained adamant concerning the rights of black students to enjoy the benefits of all levels of the educational system. The Office of Civil Rights also hired its first African-American lawyer and began to work cautiously with leaders of the civil rights movement. Robert Kennedy saw voting as the key to racial justice, and collaborated with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson to create the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

, which helped bring an end to Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

.

As U.S. senator and presidential candidate

He was to maintain his commitment to racial equality into his own presidential campaign, extending his firm sense of social justice to all areas of national life and into matters of foreign and economic policy. During a speech at Ball State University
Ball State University
Ball State University is a state-run research university located in Muncie, Indiana. It is also known as Ball State or simply BSU.Located on the northwest side of the city, Ball State's campus spans and includes 106 buildings...

, Kennedy questioned the student body on what kind of life America wished for herself; whether privileged Americans had earned the great luxury they enjoyed and whether such Americans had an obligation to those, in U.S. society and across the world, who had so little by comparison. It has been argued that although this speech has been largely overlooked and ignored, because of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, it was one of most powerful and heartfelt speeches Kennedy delivered.

After the assassination of President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy undertook a 1966 tour of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 in which he championed the cause of the anti-Apartheid movement. The tour was greeted with international praise at a time when few politicians dared to entangle themselves in the politics of South Africa. Kennedy spoke out against the oppression of the native population and was welcomed by the black population as though a visiting head of state. In an interview with Look Magazine
Look (American magazine)
Look was a bi-weekly, general-interest magazine published in Des Moines, Iowa from 1937 to 1971, with more of an emphasis on photographs than articles...

 he had this to say:
In South Africa, a group of foreign press representatives chartered an aircraft, after the National Union of South African Students
National Union of South African Students
The National Union of South African Students was an important force for Liberalism in South Africa in the latter part of the last century...

 failed to make sufficient travel arrangements. Kennedy not only accommodated a suspected Special Branch
Special Branch
Special Branch is a label customarily used to identify units responsible for matters of national security in British and Commonwealth police forces, as well as in the Royal Thai Police...

 policeman on board, but took with good grace the discovery that the aircraft had once belonged to Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

.

Civil liberties

Kennedy also used the power of federal agencies to influence U.S. Steel
U.S. Steel
The United States Steel Corporation , more commonly known as U.S. Steel, is an integrated steel producer with major production operations in the United States, Canada, and Central Europe. The company is the world's tenth largest steel producer ranked by sales...

 not to institute a price increase. The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

 wrote that the administration had set prices of steel "by naked power, by threats, by agents of the state security police." Yale law professor Charles Reich wrote in The New Republic that the Justice Department had violated civil liberties
Civil liberties
Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the freedom from slavery and forced labour, freedom from torture and death, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one's self, the right to own and bear arms, the right...

 by calling a federal grand jury to indict U.S. Steel so quickly, then disbanding it after the price increase did not occur.

Death penalty issues

During the John F. Kennedy administration, the federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 carried out its last pre-Furman
Furman v. Georgia
Furman v. Georgia, was a United States Supreme Court decision that ruled on the requirement for a degree of consistency in the application of the death penalty. The case led to a de facto moratorium on capital punishment throughout the United States, which came to an end when Gregg v. Georgia was...

 federal execution (Victor Feguer
Victor Feguer
Victor Harry Feguer was a convicted murderer and the last federal inmate executed in the United States before the moratorium on the death penalty following Furman v. Georgia, and the last person put to death in the state of Iowa...

 in Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, 1963) and Robert Kennedy, as Attorney General, represented the Government in this case.

In 1968, Kennedy expressed his strong willingness to support a bill then under consideration for the abolition of the death penalty.

Cuba

As his brother's confidant, Kennedy oversaw the CIA's anti-Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 activities after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion
Bay of Pigs Invasion
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful action by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, with support and encouragement from the US government, in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. The invasion was launched in April 1961, less than three months...

. He also helped develop the strategy to blockade Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

 instead of initiating a military strike that might have led to nuclear war. Kennedy had initially been among the more hawkish elements of the administration on matters concerning Cuban insurrectionary aid. His initial strong support for covert actions in Cuba soon changed to a position of removal from further involvement once he became aware of the CIA's tendency to draw out initiatives and provide itself with almost unchecked authority in matters of foreign covert operations.

Allegations that the Kennedys knew of plans by the CIA to kill Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

, or approved of such plans, have been debated by historians over the years. John F. Kennedy's friend and associate, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., for example, expressed the opinion that operatives linked to the CIA were among the most reckless individuals to have operated during the period—providing themselves with unscrutinized freedoms to threaten the lives of Castro and other members of the Cuban revolutionary government regardless of the legislative apparatus in Washington—freedoms that, unbeknownst to those at the White House attempting to prevent a nuclear war, placed the entire U.S.–Soviet relationship in perilous danger.

The "Family Jewels
Family Jewels (Central Intelligence Agency)
The Family Jewels is the informal name used to refer to a set of reports that detail activities conducted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Considered illegal or inappropriate, these actions were conducted over the span of decades, from the 1950s to the mid-1970s...

" documents, declassified by the CIA in 2007, suggest that before the Bay of Pigs invasion Robert Kennedy personally authorized one such assassination attempt.
However, ample evidence exists disputing that fact, specifically that Robert Kennedy was only informed of an earlier plot involving CIA's use of Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 bosses Santo Trafficante, Jr.
Santo Trafficante, Jr.
Santo Trafficante, Jr. was one of the last of the old-time Mafia bosses in the United States. He allegedly controlled organized criminal operations in Florida and Cuba, which had previously been consolidated from several rival gangs by his father, Santo Trafficante, Sr...

 and John Roselli
John Roselli
John "Handsome Johnny" Roselli , sometimes spelled John Rosselli, was an influential mobster for the Chicago Outfit who helped them control Hollywood and the Las Vegas Strip. Roselli was also involved with the Central Intelligence Agency plot to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 1960s...

 during a briefing on May 7, 1962, and in fact directed the CIA to halt any existing efforts directed at Castro's assassination.
Concurrently, Kennedy served as his brother's personal representative in Operation Mongoose, the post-Bay of Pigs covert operations program established in November 1961 by President Kennedy. Mongoose was meant to incite a revolution within Cuba that would result in the downfall of Castro, not Castro's assassination.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis Kennedy proved himself to be a gifted politician, with an ability to obtain compromises tempering aggressive positions of key figures in the hawk camp. The trust the President placed in him on matters of negotiation was such that Robert Kennedy's role in the crisis is today seen as having been of vital importance in securing a blockade, which averted a full military engagement between the United States and Soviet Russia. His clandestine meetings with members of the Soviet government continued to provide a key link to Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 during even the darkest moments of the Crisis, in which the threat of nuclear strikes was considered a very present reality.

On the last night of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy was so grateful for his brother's work in averting nuclear war that he summed it up by saying, "Thank God for Bobby".

Assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy

The assassination of President Kennedy
John F. Kennedy assassination
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

 on November 22, 1963, was a brutal shock to the world, the nation and, of course, Robert and the rest of the Kennedy family. Robert was absolutely devastated, and was described by many as being a completely different man after his brother's death.

In the days following the assassination, Kennedy wrote letters to his two eldest children, Kathleen and Joseph II, saying that as the oldest Kennedy family members of their generation, they had a special responsibility to remember what their uncle had started and to love and serve their country.

Kennedy was asked by Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 leaders to introduce a film about his late brother John F. Kennedy at the 1964 party convention
1964 Democratic National Convention
The 1964 Democratic National Convention was the 1964 presidential nominating convention of the Democratic Party. It took place at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey from August 24 to 27, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson -- who had been Vice President under...

. When he was introduced, the crowd—including party bosses, elected officials and delegates—applauded thunderously and tearfully for a full 22 minutes before they would let him speak. He was close to breaking down before he spoke about his brother's vision for both the party and the nation, and recited a quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

 (3.2) that Jacqueline Kennedy had given him:

Senator from New York

Nine months after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, Robert Kennedy left the Cabinet to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, representing New York.

President Johnson and Robert Kennedy were often at severe odds with each other, both politically and personally, yet Johnson gave considerable support to Robert Kennedy's campaign, as he was later to recall in his memoir of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 years.

His opponent in the 1964 race
United States Senate election, 1964
The United States Senate election in 1964 coincided with the election of President Lyndon B. Johnson by an overwhelming majority. His Democratic Party picked up a net two seats from the Republicans...

 was Republican incumbent Kenneth Keating
Kenneth Keating
Kenneth Barnard Keating , was a United States Representative and a U.S. Senator from New York, and in later life, an appellate judge and a diplomat representing the United States as ambassador to India and later to Israel.-Life:...

, who attempted to portray Kennedy as an arrogant carpetbagger
Carpetbagger
Carpetbaggers was a pejorative term Southerners gave to Northerners who moved to the South during the Reconstruction era, between 1865 and 1877....

. Kennedy emerged victorious in the November election, helped in part by Johnson's huge victory margin in New York.

In 1965 Robert Kennedy became the first person to summit Mount Kennedy
Mount Kennedy
Mount Kennedy is a peak in the Saint Elias Mountains within Kluane National Park, in Yukon, Canada. Its 4250-m to 4300-m summit lies within 10 km of the Alaska Panhandle. Dusty Glacier lies against it to the north....

. At the time it was the highest mountain in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 that had not yet been climbed. It was named in honor of his brother John Kennedy after his assassination.

In June 1966, Kennedy visited apartheid-ruled South Africa
History of South Africa in the apartheid era
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority 'non-white' inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained...

 accompanied by his wife, Ethel Kennedy, and a small number of aides. At the University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and is the oldest university in South Africa and the second oldest extant university in Africa.-History:The roots of...

 he delivered the Annual Day of Affirmation speech
Day of Affirmation speech
The Day of Affirmation speech was a speech given by Robert F. Kennedy to National Union of South African Students members at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, on June 6, 1966. Kennedy, who was then a U.S...

. A quote from this address appears on his memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. ("Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope....")

During his years as a senator, Kennedy also helped to start a successful redevelopment project in poverty-stricken Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Bedford-Stuyvesant is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Formed in 1930, the neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 3, Brooklyn Community Board 8 and Brooklyn Community Board 16. The neighborhood is patrolled by the NYPD's 79th and 81st...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, visited the Mississippi Delta
Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth" because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history...

 as a member of the Senate committee reviewing the effectiveness of 'War on Poverty' programs and, reversing his prior stance, called for a halt in further escalation of the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.

As Senator, Kennedy endeared himself to African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s, and other minorities such as Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 and immigrant groups. He spoke forcefully in favor of what he called the "disaffected," the impoverished, and "the excluded," thereby aligning himself with leaders of the civil rights struggle and social justice campaigners, leading the Democratic party in a pursuit of a more aggressive agenda to eliminate perceived discrimination on all levels. Kennedy supported desegregation busing
Desegregation busing
Desegregation busing in the United States is the practice of assigning and transporting students to schools in such a manner as to redress prior racial segregation of schools, or to overcome the effects of residential segregation on local school demographics.In 1954, the U.S...

, integration of all public facilities, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and anti-poverty social programs to increase education, offer opportunities for employment, and provide health care for African-Americans.

The administration of President Kennedy had backed U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world in the frame of the Cold War. While Robert Kennedy vigorously supported President Kennedy's earlier efforts, like his brother he never publicly advocated commitment of ground troops. Senator Kennedy had cautioned President Johnson against commitment of U.S. ground troops as early as 1965, but Lyndon Johnson chose to commit ground troops on recommendation of the rest of President Kennedy's still intact staff of advisers. Robert Kennedy did not strongly advocate withdrawal from Vietnam until 1967, within a week of Martin Luther King taking the same public stand. Consistent with President Kennedy's Alliance for Progress
Alliance for Progress
The Alliance for Progress initiated by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1961 aimed to establish economic cooperation between the U.S. and South America.-Origin and goals:...

, Robert Kennedy placed increasing emphasis on human rights as a central focus of U.S. foreign policy.

Presidential candidate

In 1968, President Johnson began to run for reelection. In January 1968, faced with what was widely considered an unrealistic race against an incumbent President, Senator Kennedy stated he would not seek the presidency. After the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, in early February 1968, Kennedy received a letter from writer Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill
Pete Hamill is an American journalist, novelist, essayist, editor and educator. Widely traveled and having written on a broad range of topics, he is perhaps best known for his career as a New York City journalist, as "the author of columns that sought to capture the particular flavors of New York...

 that said that poor people kept pictures of President Kennedy on their walls and that Robert Kennedy had an "obligation of staying true to whatever it was that put those pictures on those walls." Kennedy traveled to California, to meet with civil rights activist César Chávez
César Chávez
César Estrada Chávez was an American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers ....

 who was on a hunger strike. The weekend before the New Hampshire primary, Kennedy announced to several aides that he would attempt to persuade little-known Senator Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

 of Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 to withdraw from the presidential race. Johnson won a narrow victory in the New Hampshire primary on March 12, 1968, against McCarthy, which boosted McCarthy's standing in the race.

After much speculation and reports leaking out about his plans, and seeing in McCarthy's success that Johnson's hold on the job was not as strong as originally thought, Kennedy declared his candidacy on March 16, 1968, in the Caucus Room of the old Senate office building—the same room where his brother declared his own candidacy eight years earlier. He stated, "I do not run for the Presidency merely to oppose any man, but to propose new policies. I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, and I feel that I'm obliged to do all I can."

McCarthy supporters angrily denounced Kennedy as an opportunist, and thus the anti-war movement was split between McCarthy and Kennedy. On March 31, 1968, Johnson stunned the nation by dropping out of the race. Vice President Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

, long a champion of labor unions and civil rights, entered the race with the support of the party "establishment," including most members of Congress, mayors, governors and labor unions. He entered the race too late to enter any primaries, but had the support of the president and many Democratic insiders. Robert Kennedy, like his brother before him, planned to win the nomination through popular support in the primaries.

Kennedy stood on a platform of racial and economic justice, non-aggression in foreign policy, decentralization of power and social improvement. A crucial element to his campaign was an engagement with the young, whom he identified as being the future of a reinvigorated American society based on partnership and equality. A good idea of his proposals come from the following extract of a speech given at the University of Kansas.
Kennedy's policy objectives did not sit well with the business world, in which he was viewed as something of a fiscal liability, opposed as they were to the tax increases necessary to fund such programs of social improvement. At one of his university speeches (Indiana University Medical School) he was asked, "Where are we going to get the money to pay for all these new programs you're proposing?", Kennedy replied to the medical students (about to enter lucrative careers), "You are." It was this intense and frank mode of dialogue with which Kennedy was to continue to engage those whom he viewed as not being traditional allies of Democratic ideals or initiatives. He aroused rabid animosity in some quarters, with J. Edgar Hoover's Deputy Clyde Tolson
Clyde Tolson
Clyde Anderson Tolson was Associate Director of the FBI, primarily responsible for personnel and discipline. He is best known as the protégé of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.-Early career:...

 reported as saying, 'I hope that someone shoots and kills the son of a bitch.'

It has been widely commented that Robert Kennedy's campaign for the American presidency far outstripped, in its vision of social improvement, that of President Kennedy; Robert Kennedy's bid for the presidency saw not only a continuation of the programs he and his brother had undertaken during the President's term in office, but also an extension of these programs through what Robert Kennedy viewed as an honest questioning of the historic progress that had been made by President Johnson in the 5 years of his presidency. Kennedy openly challenged young people who supported the war while benefiting from draft deferments, visited numerous small towns, and made himself available to the masses by participating in long motorcades and street-corner stump speeches (often in troubled inner-cities). Kennedy made urban poverty a chief concern of his campaign, which in part led to enormous crowds that would attend his events in poor urban areas or rural parts of Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

.
On April 4, 1968, Kennedy learned of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 and gave a heartfelt, impromptu speech
Robert F. Kennedy's speech on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
A speech on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. was given by New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy on April 4, 1968, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kennedy was campaigning for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination...

 in Indianapolis's
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 inner city, in which Kennedy called for a reconciliation between the races. Riots broke out in 60 cities in the wake of King's death, but not in Indianapolis, a fact many attribute to the effect of this speech.

Kennedy finally won the Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 and Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 Democratic primaries, but lost the Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

 primary. If he could defeat McCarthy in the California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 primary, the leadership of the campaign thought, he would knock McCarthy out of the race and set up a one-on-one against Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

 (whom he bested in the primary held on the same day as the California primary in Humphrey's birth state, South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

) at the Chicago national convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because Democratic President Lyndon Johnson had announced he would not seek a second term, the purpose of the convention was to...

 in August.

Assassination

Kennedy scored a major victory in winning the California primary. He addressed his supporters shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in a ballroom
Ballroom
A ballroom is a large room inside a building, the designated purpose of which is holding formal dances called balls. Traditionally, most balls were held in private residences; many mansions contain one or more ballrooms...

 at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, California. Leaving the ballroom, he went through the hotel kitchen after being told it was a shortcut, despite being advised to avoid the kitchen by his bodyguard, FBI agent Bill Barry. In a crowded kitchen passageway, Sirhan Sirhan
Sirhan Sirhan
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan is a Jordanian citizen who was convicted for the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He is serving a life sentence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.Sirhan was a Christian Arab born in Jerusalem who strongly opposed Israel...

, a 24-year-old Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

-born Jordanian, opened fire with a .22-caliber
.22 Short
.22 Short is a variety of .22 caliber rimfire ammunition. Developed in 1857 for the first Smith and Wesson revolver, the .22 rimfire was the first American metallic cartridge....

 revolver
Revolver
A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. The first revolver ever made was built by Elisha Collier in 1818. The percussion cap revolver was invented by Samuel Colt in 1836. This weapon became known as the Colt Paterson...

. Kennedy was hit three times and five other people also were wounded. George Plimpton
George Plimpton
George Ames Plimpton was an American journalist, writer, editor, and actor. He is widely known for his sports writing and for helping to found The Paris Review.-Early life:...

, former decathlete
Decathlon
The decathlon is a combined event in athletics consisting of ten track and field events. The word decathlon is of Greek origin . Events are held over two consecutive days and the winners are determined by the combined performance in all. Performance is judged on a points system in each event, not...

 Rafer Johnson
Rafer Johnson
Rafer Lewis Johnson is an American former decathlete and film actor.-Biography:Johnson was born in Hillsboro, Texas, but the family moved to Kingsburg, California, when he was nine. For a while, they were the only black family in the town. A versatile athlete, he played on Kingsburg High School's...

, and former professional football player Rosey Grier
Rosey Grier
Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier is an American actor, singer, Christian minister, and former professional American football player. He was a notable college football player for Pennsylvania State University who earned a retrospective place in the National Collegiate Athletic Association 100th anniversary...

 are credited with wrestling Sirhan Sirhan
Sirhan Sirhan
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan is a Jordanian citizen who was convicted for the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He is serving a life sentence at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, California.Sirhan was a Christian Arab born in Jerusalem who strongly opposed Israel...

 to the ground after Sirhan shot the Senator. Following the shooting, Kennedy was first rushed to Los Angeles's Central Receiving Hospital and then to the city's Good Samaritan Hospital
Good Samaritan Hospital (Los Angeles)
Good Samaritan Hospital is a hospital in Los Angeles, California, United States. The hospital has 408 beds.-History:Good Samaritan Hospital was founded in 1885, although the current hospital was built in 1976...

 where he died early the next morning. Sirhan said that he felt betrayed by Kennedy's support for Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

, which had begun exactly one year before the assassination.

His body was returned to New York City, where it lay in repose
Lying in repose
Lying in repose is a term used to describe when a deceased person, often of some stature, is available for public viewing. "Lying in repose" is different from the formal honor of "lying in state", which is generally held at the principal government building of the country and often accompanied by...

 at Saint Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York
The Cathedral of St. Patrick is a decorated Neo-Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral church in the United States...

 for several days before the Requiem Mass
Requiem
A Requiem or Requiem Mass, also known as Mass for the dead or Mass of the dead , is a Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons, using a particular form of the Roman Missal...

 held there on June 8. His brother, U.S. Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

, eulogized
Eulogy
A eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing, especially one recently deceased or retired. Eulogies may be given as part of funeral services. However, some denominations either discourage or do not permit eulogies at services to maintain respect for traditions...

 him with the words:
The quote is actually a paraphrase of a line spoken by the devil (The Serpent) to Eve in George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

's Back to Methuselah
Back to Methuselah
Back to Methuselah , by George Bernard Shaw consists of a preface and a series of five plays: In the Beginning: B.C. 4004 , The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabas: Present Day, The Thing Happens: A.D. 2170, Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman: A.D. 3000, and As Far as Thought Can Reach: A.D...

: You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?

The Requiem Mass concluded with the hymn, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic
The Battle Hymn of the Republic
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is a hymn by American writer Julia Ward Howe using the music from the song "John Brown's Body". Howe's more famous lyrics were written in November 1861 and first published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. It became popular during the American Civil War...

" sung by Andy Williams
Andy Williams
Howard Andrew "Andy" Williams is an American singer who has recorded 18 Gold- and three Platinum-certified albums. He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a TV variety show, from 1962 to 1971, as well as numerous television specials, and owns his own theater, the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri,...

. Immediately following the Requiem Mass, his body was transported by a special private train to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 Thousands of mourners lined the tracks and stations along the route, paying their respects as the train passed. This slow transport delayed arrival at Arlington National Cemetery, causing it to be the only night burial to have taken place there.

Kennedy was buried near his brother, John, in Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

 in Arlington, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 (just outside Washington, D.C.). He had always maintained that he wished to be buried in Massachusetts, but his family believed that since the brothers had been so close in life, they should be near each other in death. In accordance with his wishes, Kennedy was buried with the bare-minimum military escort and ceremony. The casket was borne from the train by 13 pallbearers, including former astronaut John Glenn, former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, family friend Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Robert's eldest son Joe and his brother Senator Edward Kennedy. In August 2009, Senator Edward Kennedy was also buried at Arlington, near his brothers John and Robert.

The procession stopped once during the drive to Arlington National Cemetery at the Lincoln Memorial where the Marine Corps Band played "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." The funeral motorcade arrived at the cemetery at 10:30 p.m. Archbishop Terence Cooke of New York and Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle, Archbishop of Washington, conducted the brief graveside service. Afterward John Glenn
John Glenn
John Herschel Glenn, Jr. is a former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut, and United States senator who was the first American to orbit the Earth and the third American in space. Glenn was a Marine Corps fighter pilot before joining NASA's Mercury program as a member of NASA's original...

 presented the folded flag on behalf of the United States to Ethel and Joe Kennedy.
(coordinates: 38.88118°N 77.07150°W)

On June 9, President Johnson assigned security staff to all U.S. presidential candidates and declared an official national day of mourning
National day of mourning
A national day of mourning is a day marked by mourning and memorial activities observed among the majority of a country's populace. They are designated by that nation's government...

. After the assassination, the mandate of the U.S. Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 was altered by Congress to include Secret Service protection of U.S. presidential candidates.

Family

In 1950, he married Ethel Skakel
Ethel Skakel Kennedy
Ethel Skakel Kennedy is the widow of Robert F. Kennedy, who served as Attorney General of the United States and a United States Senator for the state of New York.-Early life:...

. Together, they had eleven children:
  1. Kathleen Hartington
    Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
    Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend , is an American attorney who was the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003. She ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Maryland in 2002. In 2010 she became the chair of the non-profit American Bridge, an organization that will raise funds for Democratic...

     (b.1951)
  2. Joseph Patrick II
    Joseph Patrick Kennedy II
    Joseph Patrick Kennedy II is an American businessman and Democratic politician.He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 8th congressional district of Massachusetts from 1987 to 1999. In 1979 he founded and led until election to the U.S...

     (b.1952)
  3. Robert Francis, Jr.
    Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
    Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. is an American radio host, activist, and attorney specializing in environmental law. He is the third of eleven children born to Ethel Skakel Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy and is the nephew of John F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy...

     (b.1954)
  4. David Anthony
    David Kennedy
    David Anthony Kennedy was the fourth of eleven children of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy.-Life:...

     (1955–1984)
  5. Mary Courtney
    Courtney Kennedy Hill
    Mary Courtney Kennedy Hill was born on September 9, 1956, in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the fifth child of eleven children of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy....

     (b.1956)
  6. Michael LeMoyne (1958–1997)
  7. Mary Kerry
    Kerry Kennedy
    Mary Kerry Kennedy is an American human rights activist and writer. She is the seventh of the eleven children of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy. She was known as Kerry Kennedy Cuomo from 1991 until 2003.-Early life:...

     (b.1959)
  8. Christopher George (b.1963)
  9. Matthew Maxwell Taylor
    Max Kennedy
    Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy – also known as Max Kennedy – is an American author and the ninth child of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy, and a member of the Kennedy family.-Early years:...

     (b.1965)
  10. Douglas Harriman
    Douglas Harriman Kennedy
    Douglas Harriman Kennedy is the tenth child of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy, named in honor of W. Averell Harriman, a family friend and former governor of New York...

     (b.1967)
  11. Rory Elizabeth Katherine
    Rory Kennedy
    Rory Elizabeth Katherine Kennedy is an American documentary filmmaker and producer. She is the youngest of the eleven children of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy and his wife Ethel .-Early life and education:...

     (b.1968)

The last child, Rory, was born six months after her father's assassination.

Kennedy owned a home at the well-known Kennedy Compound
Kennedy Compound
The Kennedy Compound or Hyannis Port Historic District is the name given to six acres of waterfront property on Cape Cod along Nantucket Sound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, United States....

 on Cape Cod
Cape Cod
Cape Cod, often referred to locally as simply the Cape, is a cape in the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States...

 in Hyannis Port, but spent most of his time at his estate in McLean
McLean, Virginia
McLean is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. The community had a total population of 48,115 as of the 2010 census....

, Virginia, known as Hickory Hill
Hickory Hill (McLean, Virginia)
Hickory Hill is a large brick house in McLean, Virginia, in the United States, believed to have been built ca. 1840 . The land on which it is built is part of a Lee family tract of land called Langley. General George B...

, located west of Washington, D.C. His widow Ethel and their children continued to live at Hickory Hill after his death. She now lives full time at the Hyannis Port home.

Attitudes and approach

Despite the fact that his father's most ambitious dreams centered around his older brothers, Robert maintained the code of personal loyalty that seemed to infuse the life of the Kennedy family as a whole. His competitiveness was admired by his father and elder brothers, while his loyalty bound them more affectionately close. A rather timid child, Robert was often the target of his father's dominating temperament.

Working on the campaigns of John Kennedy, Robert was more involved, passionate and tenacious than the candidate himself, obsessed with every detail, fighting out every battle and taking workers to task. Robert had, all his life, been closer to older brother John than the other members of the Kennedy family.

RFK's opponents on Capitol Hill maintained that his collegiate magnanimity was sometimes hindered by a tenacious and somewhat impatient manner. His professional life was dominated by the selfsame attitudes that governed his family life—a certainty that good humor and leisure must be balanced by service and accomplishment. Schlesinger comments that Kennedy could be both the most ruthlessly diligent and yet generously adaptable of politicians—at once both temperamental and yet forgiving. In this, Kennedy was very much his father's son; lacking truly lasting emotional independence and yet possessing a great desire to contribute. He lacked the innate self-confidence of his contemporaries and yet found a greater self-assurance in the experience of married life, an experience that he stated had given him a base of self-belief from which to continue his efforts in the public arena.

Upon hearing yet again the assertion that he was "ruthless", Kennedy once joked to a reporter, "If I find out who has called me ruthless I will destroy him." And yet he also openly confessed to possessing a bad temper that required self-control: "My biggest problem as counsel, is to keep my temper. I think we all feel that when a witness comes before the United States Senate he has an obligation to speak frankly and tell the truth. To see people sit in front of us and lie and evade makes me boil inside. But you can't lose your temper—if you do, the witness has gotten the best of you."

Religious faith

Central to Kennedy's politics and personal attitude to life and its purpose was his Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, which he inherited from his family. Throughout his life, Kennedy made reference to his faith, how it informed every area of his life, and how it gave him the strength to re-enter politics following the assassination of his elder brother. His was not an unresponsive and staid faith, but the faith of a Catholic Radical—perhaps the first successful Catholic Radical in American political history.

Robert Kennedy was easily the most religious of his brothers. Whereas John maintained an aloof sense of his faith, Robert approached his duties with a Catholic worldview. In the last years of his life, he found great solace in the metaphysical poets of ancient Greece, especially the writings of Aeschylus
Aeschylus
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

. In his Indianapolis speech on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Kennedy quoted these lines from Aeschylus:

"He who learns must suffer. Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, and against our will, comes wisdom by the awful grace of God."

Electoral history

1964 New York United States Senatorial Election
Robert F. Kennedy (D) 53.5%
Kenneth Keating
Kenneth Keating
Kenneth Barnard Keating , was a United States Representative and a U.S. Senator from New York, and in later life, an appellate judge and a diplomat representing the United States as ambassador to India and later to Israel.-Life:...

 (R) (inc.) 45.4%

Honors

D.C. Stadium in Washington, D.C. was renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium, in Washington, D.C., United States, and the current home of MLS's D.C. United....

 in 1969.
In 1978, the United States Congress posthumously awarded Kennedy its Gold Medal of Honor. In 1998, the United States Mint
United States Mint
The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of State...

 released a special dollar coin that featured Kennedy on the obverse and the emblems of the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 and the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 on the reverse.

In Washington, D.C. on November 20, 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and Attorney General John Ashcroft
John Ashcroft
John David Ashcroft is a United States politician who served as the 79th United States Attorney General, from 2001 until 2005, appointed by President George W. Bush. Ashcroft previously served as the 50th Governor of Missouri and a U.S...

 dedicated the Department of Justice headquarters building as the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building
Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building
Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building is the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the United States Department of Justice.The building is located at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, on a trapezoidal lot on the block bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue to the north, Constitution Avenue to the south,...

, honoring Robert F. Kennedy on what would have been his 76th birthday. They both spoke during the ceremony, as did Kennedy's eldest son, Joseph II
Joseph Patrick Kennedy II
Joseph Patrick Kennedy II is an American businessman and Democratic politician.He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 8th congressional district of Massachusetts from 1987 to 1999. In 1979 he founded and led until election to the U.S...

.
Numerous roads, public schools and other facilities across the United States were named in memory of Robert F. Kennedy in the months and years after his death. The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial organization was founded in 1968, with an international award program to recognize human rights activists. It is now known as the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights is a human rights advocacy organization, a nonprofit charitable organization that works to realize Robert Kennedy's dream of a peaceful and just world by advancing human rights...

. In a further effort to not just remember the late Senator, but continue his work helping disadvantaged, a small group of private citizens launched the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps in 1969, which today helps more than 800 abused and neglected children each year. A bust of Kennedy resides in the library of the University of Virginia School of Law, from where he obtained his law degree.

On June 4, 2008, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Kennedy, the New York State Assembly voted to rename the Triborough Bridge in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge in honor of the former New York Senator. New York State Governor David Paterson
David Paterson
David Alexander Paterson is an American politician who served as the 55th Governor of New York, from 2008 to 2010. During his tenure he was the first governor of New York of African American heritage and also the second legally blind governor of any U.S. state after Bob C. Riley, who was Acting...

 signed the legislation into law on Friday, August 8, 2008.

Kennedy and King

Several public institutions jointly honor Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...


  • In 1969, the former Woodrow Wilson Junior College, a two-year institution and a constituent campus of the City Colleges of Chicago
    City Colleges of Chicago
    The City Colleges of Chicago is a system of seven community colleges which provide learning opportunities for Chicago residents at the schools or online, and also members of the US military through the Navy Campus to enhance their knowledge and skills. Student enrollment was 115,000 in 2007...

    , was renamed Kennedy-King College
    Kennedy-King College
    Kennedy-King College is a two-year community college in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is part of the City Colleges of Chicago, a system of two-year education that has existed in Chicago, Illinois since Crane Technical College began to accept adult students in 1911...

    .

  • In 1994, the City of Indianapolis erected a monument, Landmark for Peace Memorial
    Landmark for Peace Memorial
    The Landmark for Peace Memorial is a memorial sculpture at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park on the northside of Indianapolis that honors the contributions of the slain leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy...

    , in Kennedy's honor in the space made famous by his oration from the back of a pickup truck the night King died. The monument, in Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, depicts Kennedy as a piece of a large metal slab reaching out to King, who is also part of a similar slab. This is meant to symbolize their attempts in life to bridge the gaps between the races—an attempt that united them even in death. A historical marker has also been placed at the site. A nephew of King and Indiana U.S. Congresswoman
    Indiana's 7th congressional district
    Indiana's 7th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Indiana. Based in the heart of the state, the district encompasses most of Marion County and Indianapolis....

     Julia Carson
    Julia Carson
    Julia May Carson , born Julia May Porter, was a member of the United States House of Representatives for from 1997 until her death in 2007 . Carson was the first woman and first African American to represent the 7th District...

     (Democrat) presided over the event; both made speeches from the back of a pickup truck in similar fashion to Kennedy's speech.

Writing

Considered an eloquent speaker generally, Kennedy also wrote extensively on politics and issues confronting his generation:
•"The Enemy Within: The McClellan Committee's Crusade Against Jimmy Hoffa and Corrupt Labor Unions" (1960)
•"Just Friends and Brave Enemies" (1962)
•"The Pursuit Of Justice" (1964)
•"To Seek a Newer World" (1967)
•"Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Thirteen Days (book)
Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis is Robert F. Kennedy's account of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The book was released in 1969, a year after his assassination....

" (1969)

Quotations

  • "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly."
  • "Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital, quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change."
  • "The sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country."
  • "Men without hope, resigned to despair and oppression, do not make revolutions. It is when expectation replaces submission, when despair is touched with the awareness of possibility, that the forces of human desire and the passion for justice are unloosed."
  • "There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were and ask why not."
  • "Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation ... It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
  • "At the University of Natal in Durban, I was told the church to which most of the white population belongs teaches apartheid as a moral necessity. A questioner declared that few churches allow black Africans to pray with the white because the Bible says that is the way it should be, because God created Negroes to serve. "But suppose God is black", I replied. "What if we go to Heaven and we, all our lives, have treated the Negro as an inferior, and God is there, and we look up and He is not white? What then is our response?" There was no answer. Only silence." South Africa, June 1966
  • "What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black." Indianapolis, Indiana, April 4, 1968, announcing to the crowd that Martin Luther King had been assassinated.
  • "Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." From his last speech, June 5, 1968
  • "Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws—but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted—when we tolerate what we know to be wrong—when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened—when we fail to speak up and speak out—we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice." June 21, 1961
  • "...We must recognize the full human equality of all our people-before God, before the law, and in the councils of government. We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous-although it is; not because the laws of God and man command it-although they do command it; not because people in other lands wish it so. We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do."

Media

In The Kennedys, an 8-part 2011 miniseries chronicling the Kennedy family, Kennedy is portrayed by Barry Pepper
Barry Pepper
Barry Robert Pepper is a Canadian actor. He is best known for playing roles like Sergeant Michael Strank in the Clint Eastwood film, Flags of Our Fathers, Private Daniel Jackson in Saving Private Ryan, Roger Maris in 61*, Ned Pepper in True Grit and for his recent role as Robert F...

.

In the upcoming biographical movie J. Edgar
J. Edgar
J. Edgar is a 2011 biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood, from a script by Dustin Lance Black. The film focuses on the career of FBI director J...

, Kennedy will be played by Jeffrey Donovan
Jeffrey Donovan
Jeffrey Donovan is an American television, film and stage actor. He plays the lead Michael Westen on the American cable television series, Burn Notice. Notable starring roles in film include: Hitch, Believe in Me, Changeling, and Come Early Morning. He portrayed Robert F. Kennedy in Clint...

.

The 2010 film RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope is a documentary that follows Kennedy's five day visit to South Africa in June 1966, during which he made his famous Ripple of Hope speech at the University of Cape Town.

The 2006 film Bobby
Bobby (2006 film)
Bobby is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Emilio Estevez. The screenplay is a fictionalized account of the hours leading up to the June 5, 1968 shooting of United States Senator from New York and former U.S. Attorney General Robert F...

 is about the story of multiple peoples' lives leading up to Kennedy's assassination. The film employs stock footage from Kennedy's presidential campaign, and he is briefly portrayed by Dave Fraunces.

The 2002 made-for-TV-movie RFK
RFK (film)
RFK is an American TV movie directed by Robert Dornhelm released in 2002. It takes place through the eyes of Robert F. Kennedy after his brother John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963. As he lives through the loss, he starts to identify himself as a political figure, not just the former...

 portrays Kennedy's life from the time of his brother's assassination to his own death. He is played by Linus Roache
Linus Roache
Linus William Roache is an English actor.-Early life:Roache was born in Manchester, the son of Coronation Street actor William Roache and actress Anna Cropper. Roache was educated at Bishop Luffa Church of England School in Chichester, West Sussex and at the independent Rydal School in Colwyn Bay,...

.

The 1985 three part TV mini-series Robert Kennedy & His Times
Robert Kennedy & His Times
Robert Kennedy & His Times is a 1985 American television miniseries directed by Marvin J. Chomsky. The miniseries was released in three parts and depicts the life of Robert F. Kennedy.-Cast:- Crew :-Awards and nominations:...

 stars Brad Davis and is based on the book of the same title by Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Kennedy's role in the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

 has been portrayed by Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen
Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez , better known by his stage name Martin Sheen, is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands and Apocalypse Now , and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.He is considered one of the best actors never to be...

 in The Missiles of October
The Missiles of October
The Missiles of October is a 1974 docudrama made-for-television play about the Cuban missile crisis. The title evokes the book The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman about the missteps among the great powers and the failed chances to give an opponent a graceful way out, which led to the First...

 and by Steven Culp in Thirteen Days
Thirteen Days (film)
Thirteen Days is a 2000 docudrama directed by Roger Donaldson about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, seen from the perspective of the US political leadership. Kevin Costner stars, with Bruce Greenwood featured as John F. Kennedy....

.

Kennedy is portrayed by John Shea
John Shea
John Victor Shea III is an American actor and director who has starred on stage, television and in film. He is best known for his role as Lex Luthor in the 1990s TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and also starred in the short lived 1990s TV series WIOU as Hank Zaret...

 in the 1983 TV miniseries Kennedy.

Kennedy is portrayed in Hoffa
Hoffa
Hoffa is a 1992 biographical film directed by Danny DeVito and written by David Mamet, based on the life of Teamsters Union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Jack Nicholson plays Hoffa, and Danny DeVito plays Hoffa's fictional longtime friend Robert "Bobby" Ciaro, an amalgamation of several Hoffa associates over...

 by Kevin Anderson.

In 1967, Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Yevtushenko is a Soviet and Russian poet. He is also a novelist, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter, actor, editor, and a director of several films.-Early life:...

 met with Robert Kennedy and in 1968 wrote a poem about him: "" ("I was shot by an epoch").

See also

  • Kennedy family
    Kennedy family
    In the United States, the phrase Kennedy family commonly refers to the family descending from the marriage of the Irish-Americans Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald that was prominent in American politics and government. Their political involvement has revolved around the...

  • Ted Kennedy
    Ted Kennedy
    Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

  • John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy
    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

  • Robert F. Kennedy assassination
    Robert F. Kennedy assassination
    The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, a United States Senator and brother of assassinated President John F. Kennedy, took place shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California...

  • List of assassinated American politicians

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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