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Robert Kennedy Biography

Government Official (19251968)


Robert Kennedy was Attorney General during his brother JFK's administration. He later served as a U.S. Senator and was
assassinated during his run for the presidency.

Synopsis
Robert Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 20,
1925. After managing his brother John's presidential campaign, Robert was
appointed Attorney General of the United States in 1960. As AG, he fought
organized crime and was a key supporter of the civil rights movement. After
JFK's assassination, Robert was elected to the U.S. Senate representing the
state of New York. RFK was himself assassinated on June 5, 1968, during the
California Democratic presidential primary.

Early Life
Robert Francis Kennedy, nicknamed Bobby, was born in Brookline,
Massachusetts, on November 20, 1925. His parents were Joseph, a rich
businessman, and Rose, daughter of the mayor of Boston. Raised as devout
Roman Catholics, Robert Kennedy and his seven siblings enjoyed a life of
wealth and privilege. Among Kennedys older brothers was future U.S.
President John F. Kennedy.
When Kennedys father, Joseph Sr., became a U.S. ambassador to Britain, the
family moved to England. As they had been in America, the Kennedy family
members were regarded as handsome, charismatic and powerful, making
them darlings of the press. The family returned to the States in 1939 as the
threat of World War II was rapidly approaching.
Back in Massachusetts, Kennedy graduated from Milton Academy prep
school, and then enrolled in Harvard. After his older brother Joseph was killed
during World War II, Kennedy left Harvard to join the Navy. In 1946, he went
back to Harvard and graduated with a degree in government two years later.
Kennedy spent the next three years pursuing a law degree at the University
of Virginia Law School. During that time he met and married his sisters
roommate, a fellow student named Ethel Skakel. In 1951, the same year he
graduated law school, Kennedy passed the Massachusetts bar exam.

Political Career
Fresh out of law school, Kennedy joined the U.S. Department of Justices
Criminal Division in 1951. In 1952, he resigned the position to lead his older
brother Johns senatorial campaign. In 1953, Kennedy became advisor to the
Senate Subcommittee on Investigations under Senator Joseph McCarthy.
Kennedy left the position just six months later, objecting to McCarthys unjust
investigative tactics.
In 1954, Kennedy joined the Senates permanent Subcommittee on
Investigations as chief counsel for the Democratic minority. Kennedy aptly
expressed his approach to helping minorities achieve equal rights in a
speech to South African students: 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 that can sweep
down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
In 1957, Kennedy was appointed chief counsel to Senate Select Committee
on Improper Activities in the Labor of Management Field. Working under
Senator McClellan, Kennedy uncovered the corruption of Teamsters union
leader Jimmy Hoffa.
In 1960, Kennedy managed brother Johns presidential campaign. When JFK
was elected, Kennedy was made U.S. attorney general and became one of
JFKs closest cabinet advisors. When JFK was assassinated in 1963, Kennedy
resigned.
A year later he rebounded and ran successfully for senator of New York, with
the ultimate goal of becoming a U.S. presidential candidate.

Assassination
In 1968, Kennedy was nominated to run against Eugene McCarthy in the
presidential elections.
On June 5, 1968, following his victory speech at the California Democratic
Primary at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Kennedy was shot several
times by Palestinian extremist Sirhan Sirhan. He died the next day at age 42,
his promising presidential administration over before it began. The last of
Kennedys 11 children was born six months after his untimely passing