Robert F. Kennedy

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"Bobby Kennedy", "RFK", and "Robert Kennedy" redirect here. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_0

For the Scottish footballer, see Bobby Kennedy (footballer). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_1

For other uses, see RFK (disambiguation) and Robert Kennedy (disambiguation). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_2

Robert F. Kennedy_table_infobox_0

Robert F. KennedyRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_0_0
United States Senator

from New YorkRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_1_0

Preceded byRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_2_0 Kenneth KeatingRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_2_1
Succeeded byRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_3_0 Charles GoodellRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_3_1
64th United States Attorney GeneralRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_4_0
PresidentRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_5_0 John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. JohnsonRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_5_1

Preceded byRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_6_0 William P. RogersRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_6_1
Succeeded byRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_7_0 Nicholas KatzenbachRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_7_1
Personal detailsRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_8_0
BornRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_9_0 Robert Francis Kennedy

(1925-11-20)November 20, 1925 Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S.Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_9_1

DiedRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_10_0 June 6, 1968(1968-06-06) (aged 42)

Los Angeles, California, U.S.Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_10_1

Cause of deathRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_11_0 AssassinationRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_11_1
Resting placeRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_12_0 Arlington National CemeteryRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_12_1
Political partyRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_13_0 DemocraticRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_13_1
Spouse(s)Robert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_14_0 Ethel Skakel ​(m. 1950)​Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_14_1
ChildrenRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_15_0 Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_15_1
ParentsRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_16_0 Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_16_1
RelativesRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_17_0 Kennedy familyRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_17_1
EducationRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_18_0 Harvard University (AB)

University of Virginia (LLB)Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_18_1

SignatureRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_19_0 Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_19_1
Military serviceRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_20_0
AllegianceRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_21_0 United StatesRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_21_1
Branch/serviceRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_22_0 U.S. Naval ReserveRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_22_1
Years of serviceRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_23_0 1944–1946Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_23_1
RankRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_24_0 Seaman ApprenticeRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_24_1
UnitRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_25_0 USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.Robert F. Kennedy_cell_0_25_1
Battles/warsRobert F. Kennedy_header_cell_0_26_0 World War IIRobert F. Kennedy_cell_0_26_1

Robert Francis Kennedy (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also referred to by his initials RFK and occasionally by the nickname Bobby, was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 64th United States Attorney General from January 1961 to September 1964, and as a U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_3 Senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_4

He was, like his brothers John and Edward, a prominent member of the Democratic Party and has come to be viewed by some historians as an icon of modern American liberalism. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_5

Kennedy was born into a wealthy, political family in Brookline, Massachusetts. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_6

After serving in the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_7 Naval Reserve from 1944 to 1946, Kennedy returned to his studies at Harvard University, graduating in 1948. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_8

He received his law degree from the University of Virginia, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1951. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_9

He began his career as a correspondent for The Boston Post and as a lawyer at the Justice Department, but later resigned to manage his brother John's successful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1952. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_10

The following year, he worked as an assistant counsel to the Senate committee chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_11

He gained national attention as the chief counsel of the Senate Labor Rackets Committee from 1957 to 1959, where he publicly challenged Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa over the union's corrupt practices. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_12

Kennedy resigned from the committee to conduct his brother's campaign in the 1960 presidential election. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_13

He was appointed United States Attorney General after the election and served as his brother's closest advisor until his 1963 assassination. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_14

His tenure is best known for its advocacy for the civil rights movement, the fight against organized crime and the Mafia, and involvement in U.S. foreign policy related to Cuba. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_15

He authored his account of the Cuban Missile Crisis in a book titled Thirteen Days. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_16

After his brother's assassination, he remained in office in the Johnson Administration for several months. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_17

He left to run for the United States Senate from New York in 1964 and defeated Republican incumbent Kenneth Keating. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_18

In office, Kennedy opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and raised awareness of poverty by sponsoring legislation designed to lure private business to blighted communities (i.e. Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration project). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_19

He was an advocate for issues related to human rights and social justice by traveling abroad to eastern Europe, Latin America, and South Africa, and formed working relationships with Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, and Walter Reuther. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_20

In 1968, Kennedy became a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency by appealing to poor, African American, Hispanic, Catholic, and young voters. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_21

His main challenger in the race was Senator Eugene McCarthy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_22

Shortly after winning the California primary around midnight on June 5, 1968, Kennedy was mortally wounded when shot with a pistol by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, allegedly in retaliation for his support of Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_23

Kennedy died the following morning. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_24

Sirhan was arrested, tried, and convicted, though Kennedy's assassination, like his brother's, continues to be the subject of widespread analysis and numerous conspiracy theories. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_25

Early life and education Robert F. Kennedy_section_0

Robert Francis Kennedy was born outside Boston in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 20, 1925. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_26

He was the seventh of nine children to businessman/politician Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and philanthropist/socialite Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_27

His parents were members of two prominent Irish American families in Boston. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_28

His eight siblings were Joseph Jr., John, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Jean, and Ted. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_29

All four of his grandparents were children of Irish immigrants. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_30

His father was a wealthy businessman and a leading Irish figure in the Democratic Party. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_31

After he stepped down as ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1940, Joe Sr. focused his attention on his oldest son, Joseph Jr., expecting that he would enter politics and be elected president. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_32

He also urged the younger children to examine and discuss current events in order to propel them to public service. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_33

After Joseph Jr. was killed during World War II, the senior Kennedy's hopes fell on his second son, John, to become president. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_34

Joseph Sr. had the money and connections to play a central role in the family's political ambitions. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_35

Kennedy's older brother John was often bedridden by illness and, as a result, became a voracious reader. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_36

Although he made little effort to get to know his younger brother during his childhood, John took him on walks and regaled him with the stories of heroes and adventures he had read. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_37

One of their favorite authors was John Buchan, who wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps, which influenced both Robert and John. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_38

John sometimes called Robert "Black Robert" due to his prudishness and disposition. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_39

Unlike his older brothers, Kennedy took to heart their mother Rose's agenda for everything to have "a purpose," which included visiting historic sites during family outings, visits to the church during morning walks, and games used to expand vocabulary and math skills. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_40

He described his position in the family hierarchy by saying, "When you come from that far down, you have to struggle to survive." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_41

As the boys were growing up, he tried frequently to get his older brothers' attention, but was seldom successful. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_42

Kennedy spent his childhood in the suburbs of New York City, the family home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, and a winter retreat in Palm Beach, Florida. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_43

He later said that during childhood he was "going to different schools, always having to make new friends, and that I was very awkward ... [a]nd I was pretty quiet most of the time. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_44

And I didn't mind being alone." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_45

He even had to repeat third grade. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_46

A teacher at Bronxville reflected that he was "a regular boy", adding, "It seemed hard for him to finish his work sometimes. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_47

But he was only ten after all." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_48

He developed an interest in American history, decorating his bedroom with pictures of U.S. presidents and filling his bookshelves with volumes on the American Civil War. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_49

He became an avid stamp collector and once received a handwritten letter from Franklin Roosevelt, also a philatelist. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_50

In March 1938, Kennedy sailed to London with his mother and four youngest siblings to join his father, who had begun serving as Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_51

He attended the private Gibbs School for Boys in London for seventh grade. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_52

In April 1939, he gave his first public speech at the placing of a cornerstone for a youth club in England. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_53

According to embassy and newspaper reports, his statements were penciled in his own hand and delivered in a "calm and confident" manner. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_54

Bobby returned to the United States just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_55

St. Paul's and Portsmouth Priory Robert F. Kennedy_section_1

In September 1939, Kennedy began eighth grade at St. Paul's School, an elite Protestant private preparatory school for boys in Concord, New Hampshire, that his father favored. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_56

Rose Kennedy was unhappy with the school's use of the Protestant Bible. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_57

After two months, she took advantage of her ambassador husband's absence from Boston and withdrew Kennedy from St. Paul's. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_58

She enrolled him in Portsmouth Priory School, a Benedictine Catholic boarding school for boys in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, which held daily morning and evening prayers and Mass three times a week, with a High Mass on Sundays. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_59

Kennedy attended Portsmouth for eighth through tenth grade. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_60

At Portsmouth Priory School, Kennedy was known as "Mrs. Kennedy's little boy Bobby" after he introduced his mother to classmates, who made fun of them. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_61

He was defensive of his mother, and on one occasion chased a student out of the dormitory after the boy had commented on her appearance. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_62

He befriended Peter MacLellan and wrote to him, when his brother John was serving in the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_63 Navy, that he would be visiting his brother "because he might be killed any minute". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_64

Kennedy blamed himself when his grades failed to improve. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_65

In letters to her son, Rose urged him to read more and to strengthen his vocabulary. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_66

Rose also expressed disappointment and wrote that she did not expect him to let her down. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_67

He began developing in other ways, and his brother John noticed his increased physical strength, predicting that the younger Kennedy "would be bouncing me around plenty in two more years". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_68

Monks at Portsmouth Priory School regarded him as a moody and indifferent student. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_69

Father Damian Kearney, who was two classes behind Kennedy, reflected that he "didn't look happy" and that he did not "smile much". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_70

According to Kearney's review of school records, Kennedy was a "poor-to-mediocre student, except for history". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_71

Milton Academy Robert F. Kennedy_section_2

In September 1942, Kennedy transferred to his third boarding school, Milton Academy, in Milton, Massachusetts, for 11th and 12th grades. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_72

His father wanted him to transfer to Milton, believing it would better prepare him for Harvard. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_73

At Milton, he met and became friends with David Hackett. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_74

He invited Hackett to join him for Sunday Mass. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_75

Hackett started accompanying him, and was impressed when Kennedy took it upon himself to fill in for a missing altar boy one Sunday. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_76

Hackett admired Kennedy's determination to bypass his shortcomings, and remembered him redoubling his efforts whenever something did not come easy to him, which included athletics, studies, success with girls, and popularity. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_77

Hackett remembered the two of them as "misfits", a commonality that drew him to Kennedy, along with an unwillingness to conform to how others acted even if doing so meant not being accepted. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_78

Kennedy's grades improved. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_79

One of his first relationships was with a girl named Piedy Bailey. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_80

The pair was photographed together when he walked her home after chapel on a Sunday night. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_81

Bailey was fond of him and remembered him as being "very appealing". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_82

She recalled him being funny, "separate, larky; outside the cliques; private all the time". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_83

Soon after he transferred to Milton, he pressed his father to allow him to enlist, as he wanted to catch up to his brothers who were both serving in the military. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_84

Kennedy had arrived at Milton unfamiliar with his peers and made little attempt to know the names of his classmates; he called most of the other boys "fella" instead. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_85

For this, he was nicknamed "Fella". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_86

Most of the school's students had come in eighth or ninth grade and cliques had already been formed. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_87

Despite this, his schoolmates would later say the school had no prejudice. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_88

He had an early sense of virtue; he disliked dirty jokes and bullying, once stepping in when an upperclassman tried bothering a younger student. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_89

The headmaster at Milton would later summarize that he was a "very intelligent boy, quiet and shy, but not outstanding, and he left no special mark on Milton". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_90

Relationship with parents Robert F. Kennedy_section_3

In Kennedy's younger years, his father dubbed him the "runt" of the family and wrote him off. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_91

Close family friend Lem Billings once remarked to Joe Sr. that he was "the most generous little boy", and Joe Sr. replied that he did not know where his son "got that". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_92

Billings commented that the only similarity between Robert and Joe Sr. was their eye color. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_93

As Kennedy grew, his father worried that he was soft on others, conflicting with his ideology. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_94

In response, Kennedy developed a tough persona that masked his gentle personality, attempting to appease his father. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_95

Biographer Judie Mills wrote that Joe Sr.'s lack of interest in Robert was evident by the length of time it took for him to decide to transfer him to Milton Academy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_96

Both Joe Jr. and John attended the exclusive Protestant prep school Choate from their first year, while Robert was already a junior by the time he was enrolled at Milton. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_97

Despite his father's disdain, Kennedy continued to seek his approval, requesting that Joe Sr. write him a letter about his opinions on different political events and World War II. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_98

As a child, Kennedy also strove to meet his mother's expectations to become the most dutiful, religious, affectionate, and obedient of the Kennedy children, but the father and son grew distant. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_99

Rose found his gentle personality endearing, though this was noted as having made him "invisible to his father". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_100

She influenced him heavily and, like her, he became a devout Catholic, throughout his lifetime practicing his religion more seriously than the other boys in the family. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_101

He impressed his parents as a child by taking on a newspaper route, seeking their approval and wishing to distinguish himself. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_102

However, he had the family chauffeur driving him in a Rolls-Royce so that he could make his deliveries. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_103

His mother discovered this and the deliveries ceased. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_104

Joe Sr. was satisfied with Kennedy as an adult, believing him to have become "hard as nails", more like him than any of the other children, while his mother believed he exemplified all she had wanted in a child. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_105

Mills wrote, "His parents' conflicting views would be echoed in the opinions of millions of people throughout Bobby's life. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_106

Robert Kennedy was a ruthless opportunist who would stop at nothing to attain his ambitions. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_107

Robert Kennedy was America's most compassionate public figure, the only person who could save a divided country." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_108

Naval service (1944–1946) Robert F. Kennedy_section_4

Six weeks before his 18th birthday in 1943, Kennedy enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve as a seaman apprentice. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_109

He was released from active duty in March 1944, when he left Milton Academy early to report to the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_110

His V-12 training began at Harvard (March–November 1944) before he was relocated to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine (November 1944 – June 1945). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_111

He returned to Harvard once again in June 1945 completing his post-training requirements in January 1946. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_112

At Bates he received a specialized V-12-degree along with 15 others, and during its Winter Carnival built a snow replica of a Navy boat. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_113

While in Maine, he wrote a letter to David Hackett in which he expressed feelings of inadequacy and frustration at being isolated from the action. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_114

He talked of filling his free time by taking classes with other sailors and remarked that "things are the same as usual up here, and me being my usual moody self I get very sad at times." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_115

He added, "If I don't get the hell out of here soon I'll die." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_116

In addition to Hackett, who was serving as a paratrooper, more of his Parker Hall dorm mates went overseas and left him behind. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_117

With others entering combat before him, Kennedy said this made him "feel more and more like a Draft Dodger sic or something". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_118

He was also frustrated with the apparent desire to shirk military responsibility by some of the other V-12 students. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_119

Kennedy's brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. died in August 1944, when his bomber exploded during a volunteer mission known as Operation Aphrodite. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_120

Robert was most affected by his father's reaction to his eldest son's passing. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_121

He appeared completely heartbroken and his peer Fred Garfield commented that Kennedy developed depression and questioned his faith for a short time. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_122

After his brother's death, Robert gained more attention, moving higher up the family patriarchy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_123

On December 15, 1945, the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_124 Navy commissioned the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., and shortly thereafter granted Kennedy's request to be released from naval-officer training to serve aboard Kennedy starting on February 1, 1946, as a seaman apprentice on the ship's shakedown cruise in the Caribbean. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_125

On May 30, 1946, he received his honorable discharge from the Navy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_126

For his service in the Navy, Kennedy was eligible for the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_127

Further study, journalism, and marriage (1946–1951) Robert F. Kennedy_section_5

In September 1946, Kennedy entered Harvard as a junior, having received credit for his time in the V-12 program. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_128

He worked hard to make the varsity football team as an end; he was a starter and scored a touchdown in the first game of his senior year before breaking his leg in practice. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_129

He earned his varsity letter when his coach sent him in wearing a cast during the last minutes of a game against Yale. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_130

His father spoke positively of him when he served as a blocking back and sometime receiver for the faster Dave Hackett. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_131

Joseph Sr. attended some of Kennedy's practices and saw his son catch a touchdown pass in an early-season rout of Western Maryland. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_132

His teammates admired his physical courage. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_133

He was five feet ten and 155 pounds, which made him too small for college football. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_134

Despite this, he was a fearless hitter and once tackled a 230-pound fullback head-on. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_135

Wally Flynn, another player, looked up in the huddle after one play to see him crying after he broke his leg. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_136

He disregarded the injury and kept playing. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_137

Kennedy earned two varsity letters over the course of the 1946 and 1947 seasons. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_138

Throughout 1946, Kennedy became active in his brother John's campaign for the U.S. Representative seat that was vacated by James Curley; he joined the campaign full-time after his naval discharge. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_139

Biographer Schlesinger wrote that the election served as an entry into politics for both Robert and John. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_140

Robert graduated from Harvard in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_141

Upon graduating, he sailed immediately on the RMS Queen Mary with a college friend for a six-month tour of Europe and the Middle East, accredited as a correspondent for the Boston Post, filing six stories. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_142

Four of these stories, submitted from Palestine shortly before the end of the British Mandate, provided a first-hand view of the tensions in the land. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_143

He was critical of British policy on Palestine and praised the Jewish people he met there calling them "hardy and tough". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_144

He held out some hope after seeing Arabs and Jews working side by side but, in the end, feared that the hatred between the groups was too strong and would lead to a war. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_145

In September 1948, he enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_146

Kennedy adapted to this new environment, being elected president of the Student Legal Forum, where he successfully produced outside speakers including James M. Landis, William O. Douglas, Arthur Krock, and Joseph McCarthy and his family members Joe Sr. and John F. Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_147

Kennedy's paper on Yalta, written during his senior year, is deposited in the Law Library's Treasure Trove. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_148

On June 17, 1950, Kennedy married Ethel Skakel at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenwich, Connecticut. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_149

He graduated from law school in June 1951 and flew with Ethel to Greenwich to stay in his father-in-law's guest house. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_150

The couple's first child, Kathleen, was born on July 4, 1951. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_151

During this time, his brother John tried to keep Joe Sr. "at arm's length". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_152

The brothers rarely interacted until Kenny O'Donnell contacted Robert to repair the relationship between John and their father during John's Senate campaign. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_153

As a result of this, Joe Sr. came to view Robert favorably as reliable and "willing to sacrifice himself" for the family. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_154

In September 1951, he went to San Francisco as a correspondent for the Boston Post to cover the convention that concluded the Treaty of Peace with Japan. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_155

In October 1951, he embarked on a seven-week Asian trip with his brother John (then a U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_156

Congressman from Massachusetts' 11th district) and their sister Patricia to Israel, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Japan. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_157

Because of their age gap, the two brothers had previously seen little of each other—this 25,000-mile (40,000 km) trip came at their father's behest and was the first extended time they had spent together, serving to deepen their relationship. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_158

On this trip, the brothers met Liaquat Ali Khan just before his assassination, and India's prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_159

Senate committee counsel and political campaigns (1951–1960) Robert F. Kennedy_section_6

JFK Senate campaign and Joseph McCarthy (1952–1955) Robert F. Kennedy_section_7

In 1951, Kennedy was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_160

That November, Kennedy moved with his wife and daughter to a townhouse in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and started work as a lawyer in the Internal Security Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_161 Department of Justice; the section was charged with investigating suspected Soviet agents. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_162

In February 1952, he was transferred to Brooklyn (designated as special assistant to attorney general) to help prepare fraud cases against former officials of the Truman administration. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_163

On June 6, 1952, Kennedy resigned to manage his brother John's U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_164 Senate campaign in Massachusetts. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_165

JFK's victory was of great importance to the Kennedys, elevating him to national prominence and turning him into a serious potential presidential candidate. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_166

But John's victory was equally important to Robert, who felt he had succeeded in eliminating his father's negative perceptions of him. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_167

In December 1952, at his father's behest, Kennedy was appointed by family friend Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy as assistant counsel of the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_168 Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_169

Kennedy disapproved of McCarthy's aggressive methods of garnering intelligence on suspected communists. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_170

This was a highly visible job for him. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_171

He resigned in July 1953, but "retained a fondness for McCarthy". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_172

The period of July 1953 to January 1954 saw him at "a professional and personal nadir", feeling that he was adrift while trying to prove himself to his family. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_173

In 1954, Kenneth O'Donnell and Larry O'Brien urged Kennedy to consider running for Massachusetts Attorney General, but he declined. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_174

After a period as an assistant to his father on the Hoover Commission, Kennedy rejoined the Senate committee staff as chief counsel for the Democratic minority in February 1954. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_175

That month, McCarthy's chief counsel Roy Cohn subpoenaed Annie Lee Moss, accusing her of membership in the Communist Party. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_176

Kennedy revealed that Cohn had called the wrong Annie Lee Moss and he requested the file on Moss from the FBI. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_177

FBI director J. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_178 Edgar Hoover had been forewarned by Cohn and denied him access, calling RFK "an arrogant whippersnapper". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_179

When Democrats gained a Senate majority in January 1955, Kennedy became chief counsel and was a background figure in the televised Army–McCarthy hearings of 1954 into McCarthy's conduct. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_180

The Moss incident turned Cohn into an enemy, which led to Kennedy assisting Democratic senators in ridiculing Cohn during the hearings. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_181

The animosity grew to the point where Cohn had to be restrained after asking RFK if he wanted to fight him. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_182

For his work on the McCarthy committee, Kennedy was included in a list of Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1954, created by the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_183

Junior Chamber of Commerce. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_184

His father had arranged the nomination, his first national award. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_185

In 1955 Kennedy was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_186

Stevenson aide and focus on organized labor (1956–1960) Robert F. Kennedy_section_8

In 1956, Kennedy moved his growing family outside Washington to a house called Hickory Hill, which he purchased from his brother John. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_187

This enormous 13-bedroom, 13-bath home was situated on 6 acres (2.4 ha) in McLean, Virginia. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_188

Kennedy went on to work as an aide to Adlai Stevenson during the 1956 presidential election which helped him learn how national campaigns worked, in preparation for a future run by his brother, Jack. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_189

Unimpressed with Stevenson, he reportedly voted for incumbent Dwight D. Eisenhower. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_190

Kennedy was also a delegate at the 1956 Democratic National Convention, having replaced Tip O'Neil at the request of his brother John, joining in what was ultimately an unsuccessful effort to help JFK get the vice-presidential nomination. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_191

Shortly after this, following instructions by his father, Kennedy tried making amends with J. Edgar Hoover. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_192

There seemed to be some improvement in their interactions, which came to be seen as "elemental political necessity" by Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_193

This later changed after Kennedy was appointed attorney general, where Hoover saw him as an "unprecedented threat". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_194

From 1957 to 1959, he made a name for himself while serving as the chief counsel to the Senate's McClellan Committee under chairman John L. McClellan. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_195

Kennedy was given authority over testimony scheduling, areas of investigation, and witness questioning by McClellan, a move that was made by the chairman to limit attention to himself and allow outrage by organized labor to be directed toward Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_196

In a famous scene, Kennedy squared off with Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa during the antagonistic argument that marked Hoffa's testimony. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_197

During the hearings, Kennedy received criticism from liberal critics and other commentators both for his outburst of impassioned anger and doubts about the innocence of those who invoked the Fifth Amendment. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_198

Senators Barry Goldwater and Karl Mundt wrote to each other and complained about "the Kennedy boys" having hijacked the McClellan Committee by their focus on Hoffa and the Teamsters. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_199

They believed Kennedy covered for Walter Reuther and the United Automobile Workers, a union which typically would back Democratic office seekers. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_200

Amidst the allegations, Kennedy wrote in his journal that the two senators had "no guts" as they never addressed him directly, only through the press. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_201

He left the committee in late 1959 in order to run his brother's presidential campaign. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_202

JFK presidential campaign (1960) Robert F. Kennedy_section_9

In 1960 Kennedy published The Enemy Within, a book which described the corrupt practices within the Teamsters and other unions that he had helped investigate. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_203

John Seigenthaler assisted Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_204

Kennedy went to work on the presidential campaign of his brother, John. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_205

In contrast to his role in his brother's previous campaign eight years prior, Kennedy gave stump speeches throughout the primary season, gaining confidence as time went on. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_206

His strategy "to win at any cost" led him to call on Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. to attack Hubert Humphrey as a draft dodger; Roosevelt eventually did make the statement that Humphrey avoided service. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_207

Concerned that John Kennedy was going to receive the Democratic Party's nomination, some supporters of Lyndon Johnson, who was also running for the nomination, revealed to the press that JFK had Addison's disease, saying that he required life-sustaining cortisone treatments. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_208

Though in fact a diagnosis had been made, Kennedy tried to protect his brother by denying the allegation, saying that JFK had never had "an ailment described classically as Addison's disease". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_209

After securing the nomination, John Kennedy nonetheless decided to offer Lyndon Johnson the vice presidency. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_210

This did not sit well with some Kennedy supporters, and Robert tried unsuccessfully to convince Johnson to turn down the offer, leading him to view Robert with contempt afterward. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_211

RFK had already disliked Johnson prior to the presidential campaign, seeing him as a threat to his brother's ambitions. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_212

RFK wanted his brother to choose labor leader Walter Reuther. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_213

Despite Kennedy's attempts, Johnson became his brother's running mate. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_214

Kennedy worked toward downplaying his brother's Catholic faith during the primary but took a more aggressive and supportive stance during the general election. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_215

These concerns were mostly calmed after JFK delivered a speech in September in Houston where he said that he was in favor of the separation of church and state. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_216

The following month, Kennedy was involved in securing the release of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. from a jail in Atlanta. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_217

Kennedy spoke with Georgia governor Ernest Vandiver and later Judge Oscar Mitchell, after the judge had sentenced King for violating his probation when he protested at a whites-only snack bar. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_218

Attorney General of the United States (1961–1964) Robert F. Kennedy_section_10

After winning the 1960 presidential election, President-elect John F. Kennedy appointed his younger brother attorney general. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_219

The choice was controversial, with publications including The New York Times and The New Republic calling him inexperienced and unqualified. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_220

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." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_221

However, Kennedy was hardly a novice as a lawyer, having gained significant experience conducting investigations and questioning witnesses as a Justice Department attorney and Senate committee counsel and staff director. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_222

According to Bobby Baker, the Senate majority secretary and a protégé of Lyndon Johnson, President-elect Kennedy did not want to name his brother attorney general. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_223

However, their father overruled the president-elect. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_224

At the behest of Johnson, Baker persuaded the influential Southern senator Richard Russell to allow a voice vote to confirm the president's brother in January 1961, as Kennedy "would have been lucky to get 40 votes" on a roll-call vote. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_225

The deputy and assistant attorneys general chosen by Kennedy included Byron White and Nicholas Katzenbach. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_226

Kennedy also played a major role in helping his brother form his cabinet. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_227

John Kennedy wanted to name Senator J. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_228 William Fulbright, whom he knew and liked, as his Secretary of State. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_229

Fulbright was generally regarded as the Senate's resident foreign policy expert, but he was also a supporter of segregation and white supremacy in the South. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_230

Robert Kennedy persuaded his brother that having Fulbright as Secretary of State would cost the Democrats Afro-American votes, leading to Dean Rusk being nominated instead after John Kennedy decided that his next choice, McGeorge Bundy, was too young to serve as Secretary of State. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_231

Kennedy was also present at the job interview when the CEO of the Ford Motor Company, Robert McNamara, was interviewed by John Kennedy about becoming Defense Secretary. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_232

McNamara's self-confidence and his belief that he could via his "Systems Analysis" style of management "scientifically" solve any problem impressed the Kennedy brothers, though John was rattled for a moment when McNamara asked if his bestselling book Profiles in Courage was written by a ghost-writer. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_233

Author James W. Hilty concludes that Kennedy "played an unusual combination of roles—campaign director, attorney general, executive overseer, controller of patronage, chief adviser, and brother protector" and that nobody before him had had such power. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_234

His tenure as attorney general was easily the period of greatest power for the office—no previous United States attorney general had enjoyed such clear influence on all areas of policy during an administration. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_235

To a great extent, President Kennedy sought the advice and counsel of his younger brother, with Robert being the president's closest political adviser. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_236

He was relied upon as both the president's primary source of administrative information and as a general counsel with whom trust was implicit. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_237

He exercised widespread authority over every cabinet department, leading the Associated Press to dub him "Bobby—Washington's No. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_238

2-man". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_239

The president once remarked about his brother, "If I want something done and done immediately I rely on the Attorney General. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_240

He is very much the doer in this administration, and has an organizational gift I have rarely if ever seen surpassed." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_241

Berlin Robert F. Kennedy_section_11

As one of the president's closest White House advisers, Kennedy played a crucial role in the events surrounding the Berlin Crisis of 1961. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_242

Operating mainly through a private, backchannel connection to Soviet spy Georgi Bolshakov, he relayed important diplomatic communications between the American and Soviet governments. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_243

Most significantly, this connection helped the U.S. set up the Vienna Summit in June 1961, and later to defuse the tank standoff with the Soviets at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie in October. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_244

Organized crime and the Teamsters Robert F. Kennedy_section_12

As attorney general, Kennedy pursued a relentless crusade against organized crime and the Mafia, sometimes disagreeing on strategy with FBI Director J. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_245 Edgar Hoover. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_246

Convictions against organized crime figures rose by 800 percent during his term. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_247

Kennedy worked to shift Hoover's focus away from communism, which Hoover saw as a more serious threat, to organized crime. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_248

According to James Neff, Kennedy's success in this endeavor was due to his brother's position, giving the attorney general leverage over Hoover. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_249

Biographer Richard Hack concluded that Hoover's dislike for Kennedy came from his being unable to control him. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_250

He was relentless in his pursuit of Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa, due to Hoffa's known corruption in financial and electoral matters, both personally and organizationally, creating a so-called "Get Hoffa" squad of prosecutors and investigators. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_251

The enmity between the two men was intense, with accusations of a personal vendetta—what Hoffa called a "blood feud"—exchanged between them. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_252

On July 7, 1961, after Hoffa was reelected to the Teamsters presidency, RFK told reporters the government's case against Hoffa had not been changed by what he called "a small group of teamsters" supporting him. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_253

The following year, it was leaked that Hoffa had claimed to a Teamster local that Kennedy had been "bodily" removed from his office, the statement being confirmed by a Teamster press agent and Hoffa saying Kennedy had only been ejected. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_254

On March 4, 1964, Hoffa was convicted in Chattanooga, Tennessee, of attempted bribery of a grand juror during his 1962 conspiracy trial in Nashville, Tennessee, and sentenced to eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_255

After learning of Hoffa's conviction by telephone, Kennedy issued congratulatory messages to the three prosecutors. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_256

While on bail during his appeal, Hoffa was convicted in a second trial held in Chicago, on July 26, 1964, on one count of conspiracy and three counts of mail and wire fraud for improper use of the Teamsters' pension fund, and sentenced to five years in prison. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_257

Hoffa spent the next three years unsuccessfully appealing his 1964 convictions, and began serving his aggregate prison sentence of 13 years (eight years for bribery, five years for fraud) on March 7, 1967, at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary in Pennsylvania. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_258

Civil rights Robert F. Kennedy_section_13

Kennedy expressed the administration's commitment to civil rights during a 1961 speech at the University of Georgia Law School: Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_259

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover viewed civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as an upstart troublemaker, calling him an "enemy of the state". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_260

In February 1962 Hoover presented Kennedy with allegations that some of King's close confidants and advisers were communists. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_261

Concerned about the allegations, the FBI deployed agents to monitor King in the following months. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_262

Kennedy warned King to discontinue the suspected associations. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_263

In response, King agreed to ask suspected Communist Jack O'Dell to resign from the SCLC, but refused to heed to the request to ask Stanley Levison, whom he regarded as a trusted advisor, to resign. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_264

In October 1963, Kennedy issued a written directive authorizing the FBI to wiretap King and other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, King's civil rights organization. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_265

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 that his men were "unshackled" to look for evidence in any areas of King's life they deemed worthy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_266

The wiretapping continued through June 1966 and was revealed in 1968, days before Kennedy's death. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_267

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 concerning the imprisonment of her husband for demonstrations in Alabama. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_268

During his tenure as attorney general, he undertook the most energetic and persistent desegregation of the administration that Capitol Hill had ever experienced. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_269

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 Johnson for his failure to desegregate his own office staff. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_270

However, relations between the Kennedys and civil rights activists could be tense, partly due to the administration's decision that a number of complaints which King filed with the Justice Department between 1961 and 1963 be handled "through negotiation between the city commission and Negro citizens." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_271

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 his tenure were the 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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_272

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 F. Kennedy_sentence_273

Kennedy replied, "Civil rights." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_274

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 June 1963 address to the nation on civil rights. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_275

Kennedy played a large role in the response to the Freedom Riders protests. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_276

He acted after the Anniston bus bombings to protect the Riders in continuing their journey, sending John Seigenthaler, his administrative assistant, to Alabama to attempt to secure the Riders' safety there. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_277

Despite a work rule which allowed a driver to decline an assignment which he regarded as a potentially unsafe one, he persuaded a manager of The Greyhound Corporation to obtain a coach operator who was willing to drive a special bus for the continuance of the Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, on the circuitous journey to Jackson, Mississippi. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_278

Later, during the attack and burning by a white mob of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, at which Martin Luther King Jr. and some 1,500 sympathizers were in attendance, the attorney general telephoned King to ask for his assurance that they would not leave the building until the force of U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_279 Marshals and National Guard he sent had secured the area. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_280

King proceeded to berate Kennedy for "allowing the situation to continue". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_281

King later publicly thanked him for dispatching the forces to break up the attack that might otherwise have ended his life. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_282

Kennedy then negotiated the safe passage of the Freedom Riders from the First Baptist Church to Jackson, Mississippi, where they were arrested. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_283

He offered to bail the Freedom Riders out of jail, but they refused, which upset him. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_284

Kennedy's attempts to end the Freedom Rides early were tied to an upcoming summit with Nikita Khrushchev and Charles de Gaulle. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_285

He believed the continued international publicity of race riots would tarnish the president heading into international negotiations. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_286

This attempt to curtail the Freedom Rides alienated many of the civil rights leaders who, at the time, perceived him as intolerant and narrow-minded. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_287

In an attempt to better understand and improve race relations, Kennedy held a private meeting in New York City in May 1963 with a black delegation coordinated by prominent author James Baldwin. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_288

In September 1962, Kennedy sent a force of U.S. marshals and deputized U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_289 Border Patrol agents and federal prison guards to Oxford, Mississippi, to enforce a federal court order allowing the admittance of the first African-American student, James Meredith, to the University of Mississippi. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_290

The attorney general had hoped that legal means, along with the escort of federal officers, would be enough to force Governor Ross Barnett to allow Meredith's admission. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_291

He also was very concerned there might be a "mini-civil war" between federal troops and armed protesters. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_292

President Kennedy reluctantly sent federal troops after the situation on campus turned violent. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_293

Ensuing riots during the period of Meredith's admittance resulted in 300 injuries and two deaths, yet Kennedy remained adamant that black students had the right to enjoy the benefits of all levels of the educational system. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_294

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 F. Kennedy_sentence_295

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, which helped bring an end to Jim Crow laws. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_296

Between December 1961 and December 1963, Kennedy also expanded the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division by 60 percent. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_297

U.S. Steel Robert F. Kennedy_section_14

At the direction of the president, Kennedy also used the power of federal agencies to influence U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_298 Steel not to institute a price increase. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_299

The Wall Street Journal wrote that the administration had set prices of steel "by naked power, by threats, by agents of the state security police." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_300

Yale law professor Charles Reich wrote in The New Republic that the Justice Department had violated civil liberties by calling a federal grand jury to indict U.S. Steel so quickly, then disbanding it after the price increase did not occur. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_301

Death penalty issues Robert F. Kennedy_section_15

During the Kennedy administration, the federal government carried out its last pre-Furman federal execution (of Victor Feguer in Iowa, 1963), and Kennedy, as attorney general, represented the government in this case. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_302

In 1967 Kennedy expressed his strong willingness to support a bill then under consideration for the abolition of the death penalty. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_303

Cuba Robert F. Kennedy_section_16

As his brother's confidant, Kennedy oversaw the CIA's anti-Castro activities after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_304

He also helped develop the strategy during the Cuban Missile Crisis to blockade Cuba instead of initiating a military strike that might have led to nuclear war. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_305

He had initially been among the more hawkish members of the administration on matters concerning Cuban insurrectionist aid. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_306

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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_307

Allegations that the Kennedys knew of plans by the CIA to kill Fidel Castro, or approved of such plans, have been debated by historians over the years. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_308

JFK'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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_309

The "Family Jewels" documents, declassified by the CIA in 2007, suggest that before the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the attorney general personally authorized one such assassination attempt. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_310

However, ample evidence exists to the contrary, specifically that Kennedy was only informed of an earlier plot involving the CIA's use of Mafia bosses Santo Trafficante Jr. and John Roselli during a briefing on May 7, 1962, and in fact directed the CIA to halt any existing efforts directed at Castro's assassination. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_311

Concurrently, Kennedy served as the president's personal representative in Operation Mongoose, the post-Bay of Pigs covert operations program established in November 1961 by the president. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_312

Mongoose was meant to incite a revolution within Cuba that would result in the downfall of Castro, not Castro's assassination. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_313

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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_314

The trust the President placed in him on matters of negotiation was such that his 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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_315

His clandestine meetings with members of the Soviet Government continued to provide a key link to Nikita Khrushchev during even the darkest moments of the Crisis, in which the threat of nuclear strikes was considered a very present reality. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_316

On the last night of the 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." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_317

Assassination of President John F. Kennedy Robert F. Kennedy_section_17

At the time that President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963, RFK was at home with aides from the Justice Department. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_318

J. Edgar Hoover called and told him his brother had been shot. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_319

Hoover then hung up before he could ask any questions. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_320

Kennedy later said he thought Hoover had enjoyed telling him the news. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_321

Kennedy then received a call from Tazewell Shepard, a naval aide to the president, who told him that his brother was dead. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_322

Shortly after the call from Hoover, Kennedy phoned McGeorge Bundy at the White House, instructing him to change the locks on the president's files. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_323

He ordered the Secret Service to dismantle the Oval Office and cabinet room's secret taping systems. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_324

He scheduled a meeting with CIA director John McCone and asked if the CIA had any involvement in his brother's death. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_325

McCone denied it, with Kennedy later telling investigator Walter Sheridan that he asked the director "in a way that he couldn't lie to me, and they [the CIA] hadn't". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_326

An hour after the president was shot, Bobby Kennedy received a phone call from Vice President Johnson before Johnson boarded Air Force One. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_327

RFK remembered their conversation starting with Johnson demonstrating sympathy before the vice president stated his belief that he should be sworn in immediately; RFK opposed the idea since he felt "it would be nice" for President Kennedy's body to return to Washington with the deceased president still being the incumbent. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_328

Eventually, the two concluded that the best course of action would be for Johnson to take the oath of office before returning to Washington. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_329

In his 1971 book We Band of Brothers, aide Edwin O. Guthman recounted Kennedy admitting to him an hour after receiving word of his brother's death that he thought he would be the one "they would get" as opposed to his brother. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_330

In the days following the assassination, he wrote letters to his two eldest children, Kathleen and Joseph, 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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_331

He was originally opposed to Jacqueline Kennedy's decision to have a closed casket, as he wanted the funeral to keep with tradition, but he changed his mind after seeing the cosmetic, waxen remains. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_332

Kennedy was asked by Democratic Party leaders to introduce a film about his late brother at the 1964 party convention. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_333

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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_334

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 (3.2) that Jacqueline had given him: Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_335

The ten-month investigation by the Warren Commission of 1963–1964 concluded that the president had been assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald and that Oswald had acted alone. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_336

On September 27, 1964, Kennedy issued a statement through his New York campaign office: "As I said in Poland last summer, I am convinced Oswald was solely responsible for what happened and that he did not have any outside help or assistance. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_337

He was a malcontent who could not get along here or in the Soviet Union." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_338

He added, "I have not read the report, nor do I intend to. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_339

But I have been briefed on it and I am completely satisfied that the Commission investigated every lead and examined every piece of evidence. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_340

The Commission's inquiry was thorough and conscientious." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_341

After a meeting with Kennedy in 1966, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. wrote: "It is evident that he believes that [the Warren Commission's report] was a poor job and will not endorse it, but that he is unwilling to criticize it and thereby reopen the whole tragic business." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_342

Jerry Bruno, an "advance man" for JFK who also worked on RFK's 1968 presidential campaign, would later state in 1993: "I talked to Robert Kennedy many times about the Warren Commission, and he never doubted their result." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_343

In a 2013 interview with CBS journalist Charlie Rose, son Robert F. Kennedy Jr. stated that his father was "fairly convinced" that others besides Oswald were involved in his brother's assassination and that he privately believed the Commission's report was a "shoddy piece of craftsmanship". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_344

The killing was judged as having a profound impact on Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_345

Beran assesses the assassination as having moved Kennedy away from reliance on the political system and to become more questioning. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_346

Tye views Kennedy following the death of his brother as "more fatalistic, having seen how fast he could lose what he cherished the most." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_347

Vice presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy_section_18

In the wake of the assassination of his brother and Lyndon Johnson's ascension to the presidency, with the office of vice president now vacant, Kennedy was viewed favorably as a potential candidate for the position in the 1964 presidential election. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_348

Several Kennedy partisans called for him to be drafted in tribute to his brother; national polling showed that three of four Democrats were in favor of him as Johnson's running mate. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_349

Democratic organizers supported him as a write-in candidate in the New Hampshire primary and 25,000 Democrats wrote in Kennedy's name in March 1964, only 3,700 fewer than the number of Democrats who wrote in Johnson's name as their pick for president. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_350

Kennedy discussed the vice presidency with Arthur Schlesinger. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_351

Schlesinger thought that he should develop his own political base first, and Kennedy observed that the job "was really based on waiting around for someone to die". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_352

In his first interview after the assassination Kennedy said he was not considering the vice presidency. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_353

During this time he said of the coalescing Johnson administration, "It's too early for me to even think about '64, because I don't know whether I want to have any part of these people. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_354

...If they don't fulfill and follow out my brother's program, I don't want to have anything to do with them." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_355

However, in January 1964 Kennedy did begin low key inquiries as to the vice-presidential position and by the summer was developing plans to help Johnson in cities and in the Northeast based on the 1960 JFK campaign strategies. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_356

Despite the fanfare within the Democratic Party, President Johnson was not inclined to have Kennedy on his ticket. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_357

The two men disliked one another intensely, with feelings often described as "mutual contempt" that went back to their first meeting in 1953, and had only intensified during JFK's presidency. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_358

At the time, Johnson privately said about Kennedy that "I don't need that little runt to win" while Kennedy privately said about Johnson that he was "mean, bitter, vicious — an animal in many ways". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_359

To block Kennedy, Johnson considered nominating his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, as vice presidential candidate, but the Kennedy family vetoed his name. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_360

Kenny O'Donnell, a Kennedy aide who stayed on to serve Johnson, told the president that if he wanted a Catholic vice president, the only candidate available was Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_361

Johnson instead chose Senator Hubert Humphrey to be his running mate. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_362

During a post-presidency interview with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Johnson claimed that Kennedy "acted like he was the custodian of the Kennedy dream" despite Johnson being seen as this after JFK was assassinated, arguing that he had "waited" his turn and Kennedy should have done the same. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_363

Johnson recalled a "tidal wave of letters and memos about how great a vice president Bobby would be" being swept upon him, but knowing that he could not "let it happen" as he viewed the possibility of having Kennedy on the ticket as ensuring that he would never know if he could be elected "on my own". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_364

On July 27, 1964, Kennedy was summoned to the White House to be told by Johnson that he did not want him as his running mate, leading the former to say "I could have helped you". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_365

Johnson wanted Kennedy to tell the media that he decided to withdraw his name, but he refused, saying the president could do that himself. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_366

Johnson wanted a way to announce that he had refused Kennedy serving as his running mate without appearing to be motivated by malice towards a man he disliked and distrusted. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_367

The Democratic powerbroker Clark Clifford suggested to Johnson a way to block Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_368

At a meeting in the Oval Office that, unknown to him, was being recorded, Clifford said: "Why don't you reach a policy decision that, after careful consideration, you've decided that you're not going to select anyone from your cabinet?" Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_369

When Johnson replied "That's pretty thin, isn't it? Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_370

", leading Clifford to answer, "Well, it is pretty thin, but it's a lot better than nothing". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_371

In July 1964, Johnson issued an official statement ruling out all of his current cabinet members as potential running mates, judging them to be "so valuable ... in their current posts". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_372

In response to this statement, angry letters poured in directed towards both Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, expressing disappointment at Kennedy being dropped from the field of potential running mates. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_373

Johnson, worried that delegates at the convention would draft Kennedy onto the ticket, ordered the FBI to monitor Kennedy's contacts and actions, and to make sure that he could not speak until after Hubert Humphrey was confirmed as his running mate. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_374

After making his announcement, Johnson at an "off-the-record" meeting in the Oval Office with three journalists boasted about how he had gotten "that damned albatross off his neck" as he proceeded to mock what he called Kennedy's "funny" voice and mannerisms. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_375

Though not published in the newspapers, Kennedy quickly learned of Johnson's performance and demanded an apology, only to have the president deny the story. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_376

After hearing Johnson's denial, Kennedy wrote: "He tells so many lies that he convinces himself after a while he's telling the truth. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_377

He just doesn't recognize truth or falsehood". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_378

Johnson in a meeting with the Secretary of State Dean Rusk talked much about Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_379

Both felt that Kennedy was "freakish ambitious" with Rusk saying: "Mr. President, I just can't wrap my mind around that kind of ambition. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_380

I don't know how to understand it". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_381

Both Johnson and Rusk were afraid at the Democratic National Convention that Kennedy might use the nostalgia for his assassinated brother to "stampede" the delegates to nominate him, and were hoping that Kennedy might run for Senate in New York, though Rusk was also worried that a Senate run would serve as "a drag on your own position in New York state". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_382

Furthermore, white Southerners tended to vote Democratic as a bloc at the time, and a poll in 1964 showed that 33% of Southerners would not vote Democratic if the civil rights supporter Kennedy were Johnson's running mate, which caused many Democrat leaders to oppose Kennedy serving as Vice President, lest it alienate one of the most solid and reliable blocs of Democratic voters. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_383

At the Democratic National Convention, Kennedy appeared on the stage to introduce a film honoring his late brother entitled A Thousand Days, causing the convention hall to explode with cheers for 22 minutes despite Kennedy's gestures indicating that he wanted the crowd to fall silent so he could began his speech. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_384

Senator Henry Jackson advised Kennedy to "Let them get it out of their system" as he stood on the stage raising his hand to signal he wanted the crowd to stop cheering. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_385

When the crowd finally stopped cheering, Kennedy gave his speech which ended with a quotation from Romeo and Juliet: "When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine, That all the world shall be in love with night, and pay no worship to the garish sun". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_386

Johnson knew instantly that the reference to the "garish sun" that Kennedy quoted from Shakespeare was to him. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_387

U.S. Senate (1965–1968) Robert F. Kennedy_section_19

1964 election Robert F. Kennedy_section_20

See also: 1964 United States Senate election in New York Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_388

Nine months after his brother's assassination, Kennedy left the cabinet to run for a seat in the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_389 Senate representing New York, announcing his candidacy on August 25, 1964, two days before the end of that year's Democratic National Convention. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_390

He had considered the possibility of running for the seat since early spring, but also giving consideration for governor of Massachusetts or, as he put it, "go away", leaving politics altogether after the plane crash and injury of his brother Ted in June, two months earlier. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_391

Positive reception in Europe convinced him to remain in politics. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_392

Kennedy was lauded during trips to Germany and Poland, the denizens of the latter country's greetings to Kennedy being interpreted by Leaming as evaporating the agony he had sustained since his brother's passing. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_393

Kennedy was given permission to run by the New York State Democratic Committee on September 1, amid mixed feelings in regards to his candidacy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_394

He also received the nomination of the Liberal Party of New York. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_395

Despite their notoriously difficult relationship, Johnson gave considerable support to Kennedy's campaign. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_396

His opponent in the 1964 race was Republican incumbent Kenneth Keating, who attempted to portray Kennedy as an arrogant carpetbagger since he did not reside in the state. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_397

The New York Times editorialized, "there is nothing illegal about the possible nomination of Robert F. Kennedy of Massachusetts as Senator from New York, but there is plenty of cynical about it, ... merely choosing the state as a convenient launching‐pad for the political ambitions of himself." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_398

The primary reason Kennedy chose not to run for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Massachusetts was because his younger brother Ted was running for re-election. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_399

RFK charged Keating with having "not done much of anything constructive" despite his presence in Congress during a September 8 press conference. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_400

Kennedy won the November election, helped in part by Johnson's huge victory margin in New York. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_401

Tenure Robert F. Kennedy_section_21

Kennedy drew attention in Congress early on as the brother of President Kennedy, which set him apart from other senators. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_402

He drew more than fifty senators as spectators when he delivered a speech in the Senate on nuclear proliferation in June 1965. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_403

However, he also saw a decline in his power, going from the president's most trusted advisor to one of a hundred senators, and his impatience with collaborative lawmaking showed. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_404

Though fellow senator Fred R. Harris expected not to like Kennedy, the two became allies; Harris even called them "each other's best friends in the Senate". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_405

Kennedy's younger brother Ted was his senior there. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_406

Robert saw his brother as a guide on managing within the Senate, and the arrangement worked to deepen their relationship. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_407

Senator Harris noted that Kennedy was intense about matters and issues which concerned him. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_408

Kennedy gained a reputation in the Senate for being well prepared for debate, however his tendency to speak to other senators in a more "blunt" fashion caused him to be "unpopular ... with many of his colleagues". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_409

While serving in the Senate, Kennedy advocated gun control. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_410

In May 1965 he co-sponsored S.1592, proposed by President Johnson and sponsored by Senator Thomas J. Dodd, that would put federal restrictions on mail-order gun sales. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_411

Speaking in support of the bill, Kennedy said, "For too long we dealt with these deadly weapons as if they were harmless toys. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_412

Yet their very presence, the ease of their acquisition and the familiarity of their appearance have led to thousands of deaths each year. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_413

With the passage of this bill we will begin to meet our responsibilities. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_414

It would save hundreds of thousands of lives in this country and spare thousands of families ... grief and heartache. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_415

... " In remarks during a May 1968 campaign stop in Roseburg, Oregon, Kennedy defended the bill as keeping firearms away from "people who have no business with guns or rifles". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_416

The bill forbade "mail order sale of guns to the very young, those with criminal records and the insane," according to The Oregonian's report. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_417

S.1592 and subsequent bills, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, paved the way for the eventual passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_418

Kennedy and his staff had employed a cautionary "amendments–only" strategy for his first year in the senate. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_419

In 1966 and 1967 they took more direct legislative action, but were met with increasing resistance from the Johnson administration. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_420

Despite perceptions that the two were hostile in their respective offices to each other, U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_421 News reported Kennedy's support of the Johnson administration's "Great Society" program through his voting record. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_422

Kennedy supported both major and minor parts of the program, and each year over 60% of his roll call votes were consistently in favor of Johnson's policies. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_423

On February 8, 1966, Kennedy urged the United States to pledge that it would not be the first country to use nuclear weapons against countries that did not have them noting that China had made the pledge and the Soviet Union indicated it was also willing to do so. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_424

In June 1966, he visited apartheid-era South Africa accompanied by his wife, Ethel, and a few aides. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_425

The tour was greeted with international praise at a time when few politicians dared to entangle themselves in the politics of South Africa. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_426

He spoke out against the oppression of the native population, and was welcomed by the black population as though he were a visiting head of state. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_427

In an interview with Look magazine he said: Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_428

At the University of Cape Town he delivered the annual Day of Affirmation Address. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_429

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." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_430

On January 28, 1967, Kennedy began a ten-day stay in Europe, meeting Harold Wilson in London who advised him to tell President Johnson about his belief that the ongoing Vietnam conflict was wrong. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_431

Upon returning to the U.S. in early February, he was confronted by the press who asked him if his conversations abroad had negatively impacted American foreign relations. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_432

During his years as a senator, he helped to start a successful redevelopment project in poverty-stricken Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_433

Schlesinger wrote that Kennedy had hoped Bedford-Stuyvesant would become an example of self-imposed growth for other impoverished neighborhoods. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_434

Kennedy had difficulty securing support from President Johnson, whose administration was charged by Kennedy as having opposed a "special impact" program meant to bring about the federal progress that he had supported. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_435

Robert B. Semple Jr. repeated similar sentiments in September 1967, writing the Johnson administration was preparing "a concentrated attack" on Robert F. Kennedy's proposal that Semple claimed would "build more and better low-cost housing in the slums through private enterprise." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_436

Kennedy confided to journalist Jack Newfield that while he tried collaborating with the administration through courting its members and compromising with the bill, "They didn't even try to work something out together. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_437

To them it's all just politics." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_438

He also visited the Mississippi Delta as a member of the Senate committee reviewing the effectiveness of "War on Poverty" programs, particularly that of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_439

Marian Wright Edelman described Kennedy as "deeply moved and outraged" by the sight of the starving children living in the economically abysmal climate, changing her impression of him from "tough, arrogant, and politically driven." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_440

Edelman noted further that the senator requested she call on Martin Luther King Jr. to bring the impoverished to Washington, D.C., to make them more visible, leading to the creation of the Poor People's Campaign. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_441

Kennedy sought to remedy the problems of poverty through legislation to encourage private industry to locate in poverty-stricken areas, thus creating jobs for the unemployed, and stressed the importance of work over welfare. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_442

Kennedy worked on the Senate Labor Committee at the time of the workers' rights activism of Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_443

At the request of labor leader Walter Reuther, who had previously marched with and provided money to Chavez, Kennedy flew out to Delano, California, to investigate the situation. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_444

Although little attention was paid to the first two committee hearings in March 1966 for legislation to include farm workers by an amendment of the National Labor Relations Act, Kennedy's attendance at the third hearing brought media coverage. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_445

Biographer Thomas wrote that Kennedy was moved after seeing the conditions of the workers, who he deemed were being taken advantage of. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_446

Chavez stressed to Kennedy that migrant workers needed to be recognized as human beings. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_447

Kennedy later engaged in an exchange with Kern County sheriff Leroy Galyen where he criticized the sheriff's deputies for taking photographs of "people on picket lines." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_448

As a senator, he was popular among African Americans and other minorities including Native Americans and immigrant groups. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_449

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 pursuit of a more aggressive agenda to eliminate perceived discrimination on all levels. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_450

He supported desegregation busing, 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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_451

Consistent with President Kennedy's Alliance for Progress, he also placed increasing emphasis on human rights as a central focus of U.S. foreign policy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_452

Vietnam Robert F. Kennedy_section_22

The JFK administration had backed U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world in the frame of the Cold War, but Kennedy was not known to be involved in discussions on the Vietnam War when he was his brother's attorney general. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_453

According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, before choosing to run for the Senate, Kennedy had sought an ambassadorship to South Vietnam. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_454

Entering the Senate, Kennedy initially kept private his disagreements with President Johnson on the war. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_455

While Kennedy vigorously supported his brother's earlier efforts, he never publicly advocated commitment of ground troops. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_456

Though bothered by the beginning of the bombing of North Vietnam in February 1965, Kennedy did not wish to appear antipathetic to the president's agenda. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_457

But by April, Kennedy was advocating a halt to the bombing to Johnson, who acknowledged that Kennedy played a part in influencing his choice to temporarily cease bombing the following month. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_458

Kennedy cautioned Johnson against sending combat troops as early as 1965, but Johnson chose instead to follow the recommendation of the rest of his predecessor's still intact staff of advisers. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_459

In July, after Johnson made a large commitment of American ground forces to Vietnam, Kennedy made multiple calls for a settlement through negotiation. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_460

The next month, John Paul Vann, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_461 Army, wrote that Kennedy "indicat[ed] comprehension of the problems we face", in a letter to the senator. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_462

In December 1965, Kennedy advised his friend, the Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, that he should counsel Johnson to declare a ceasefire in Vietnam, a bombing pause over North Vietnam, and to take up an offer by Algeria to serve as a "honest broker" in peace talks. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_463

The left-wing Algerian government had friendly relations with North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front and had indicated in 1965-1966 that it was willing to serve as a conduit for peace talks, but most of Johnson's advisers were leery of the Algerian offer. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_464

On January 31, 1966, Kennedy in a speech on the Senate floor stated: "If we regard bombing as the answer in Vietnam, we are headed straight for disaster". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_465

In February 1966, Kennedy released a peace plan that called for preserving South Vietnam while at the same time allowing the National Liberation Front, better known as the Viet Cong, to join a coalition government in Saigon. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_466

When asked by reporters if he was speaking on behalf of Johnson, Kennedy replied: "I don't think anyone has ever suggested that I was speaking for the White House". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_467

Kennedy's peace plan made front page news with The New York Times calling it a break with the president while the Chicago Tribunal labelled him in an editorial "Ho Chi Kennedy". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_468

Vice President Humphrey on a visit to New Zealand stated that Kennedy's "peace recipe" included "a dose of arsenic" while the National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy quoted to the press Kennedy's remarks from 1963 saying he was against including Communists in coalition governments (though Kennedy's subject was Germany, not Vietnam). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_469

Kennedy was displeased when he heard anti-war protesters chanting his name, saying "I'm not Wayne Morse". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_470

To put aside reports of a rift with Johnson, Kennedy flew with Johnson on Air Force One on a trip to New York on February 23, 1966, and barely clapped his hands in approval when Johnson denied waging a war of conquest in Vietnam. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_471

In an interview with the Today program, Kennedy conceded that his views on Vietnam were "a little confusing". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_472

In April 1966, Kennedy had a private meeting with Philip Heymann of the State Department's Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs to discuss efforts to secure the release of American prisoners of war in Vietnam. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_473

Kennedy wanted to press the Johnson administration to do more, but Heymann insisted that the administration believed the "consequences of sitting down with the Viet Cong" mattered more than the prisoners they were holding captive. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_474

On June 29 of that year, Kennedy released a statement disavowing President Johnson's choice to bomb Haiphong, but he avoided criticizing either the war or the president's overall foreign policy, believing that it might harm Democratic candidates in the 1966 midterm elections. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_475

In August, the International Herald Tribune described Kennedy's popularity as outpacing President Johnson's, crediting Kennedy's attempts to end the Vietnam conflict which the public increasingly desired. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_476

In the early part of 1967, Kennedy traveled to Europe, where he had discussions about Vietnam with leaders and diplomats. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_477

A story leaked to the State Department that Kennedy was talking about seeking peace while President Johnson was pursuing the war. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_478

Johnson became convinced that Kennedy was undermining his authority. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_479

He voiced this during a meeting with Kennedy, who reiterated the interest of the European leaders to pause the bombing while going forward with negotiations; Johnson declined to do so. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_480

On March 2, Kennedy outlined a three-point plan to end the war which included suspending the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, and the eventual withdrawal of American and North Vietnamese soldiers from South Vietnam; this plan was rejected by Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who believed North Vietnam would never agree to it. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_481

On May 15, Kennedy debated Governor of California Ronald Reagan about the war. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_482

On November 26, 1967, during an appearance on Face the Nation, Kennedy asserted that the Johnson administration had deviated from his brother's policies in Vietnam, his first time contrasting the two administrations' policies on the war. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_483

He added that the view that Americans were fighting to end communism in Vietnam was "immoral". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_484

On February 8, 1968, Kennedy delivered an address in Chicago, where he critiqued Saigon "government corruption" and expressed his disagreement with the Johnson administration's stance that the war would determine the future of Asia. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_485

On March 14, Kennedy met with defense secretary Clark Clifford at the Pentagon regarding the war. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_486

Clifford's notes indicate that Kennedy was offering not to enter the ongoing Democratic presidential primary if President Johnson would admit publicly to having been wrong in his war policy and appoint "a group of persons to conduct a study in depth of the issues and come up with a recommended course of action"; Johnson rejected the proposal. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_487

On April 1, after President Johnson halted bombing of North Vietnam, RFK said the decision was a "step toward peace" and, though offering to collaborate with Johnson for national unity, opted to continue his presidential bid. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_488

On May 1, while in Lafayette, Indiana, Kennedy said continued delays in beginning peace talks with North Vietnam meant both more lives lost and the postponing of the "domestic progress" hoped for by the US. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_489

Later that month, Kennedy called the war "the gravest kind of error" in a speech in Corvallis, Oregon. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_490

In an interview on June 4, hours before he was shot, Kennedy continued to advocate for a change in policy towards the war. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_491

Despite his criticism of the Vietnam War and the South Vietnam government, Kennedy also stated in his 1968 campaign brochure that he did not support either a simple withdrawal or a surrender in South Vietnam and favored instead a change in the course of action taken so it would bring an "honorable peace." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_492

Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy_section_23

Main article: Robert F. Kennedy 1968 presidential campaign Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_493

See also: 1968 United States presidential election and 1968 Democratic Party presidential primaries Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_494

In 1968 President Johnson prepared to run for re-election. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_495

In January, faced with what was widely considered an unrealistic race against an incumbent president, Kennedy stated that he would not seek the presidency. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_496

After the Tet Offensive in Vietnam in early February 1968, he received a letter from writer Pete Hamill that said poor people kept pictures of President Kennedy on their walls and that Kennedy had an "obligation of staying true to whatever it was that put those pictures on those walls." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_497

Kennedy traveled to Delano, California, to meet with civil rights activist César Chávez, who was on a 25-day hunger strike showing his commitment to nonviolence. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_498

It was on this visit to California that Kennedy decided he would challenge Johnson for the presidency, telling his former Justice Department aides, Edwin Guthman and Peter Edelman, that his first step was to get lesser-known Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota to drop out of the presidential race. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_499

The weekend before the New Hampshire primary, Kennedy announced to several aides that he would attempt to persuade McCarthy to withdraw from the race to avoid splitting the antiwar vote, but Senator George McGovern urged Kennedy to wait until after that primary to announce his candidacy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_500

Johnson won a narrow victory in the New Hampshire primary on March 12, 1968, against McCarthy, but this close second-place result dramatically boosted McCarthy's standing in the race. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_501

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 had declared his own candidacy eight years earlier. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_502

He stated, "I do not run for the presidency merely to oppose any man, but to propose new policies. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_503

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." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_504

McCarthy supporters angrily denounced Kennedy as an opportunist. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_505

They believed that McCarthy had taken the most courageous stand by opposing the sitting president of his own party and that his surprising result in New Hampshire had earned him the mantle of being the anti-war candidate. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_506

Kennedy's announcement split the anti-war movement in two. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_507

On March 31, 1968, Johnson stunned the nation by dropping out of the race. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_508

Vice President Hubert Humphrey, a champion of the labor unions and a long supporter of civil rights, entered the race with the financial backing and critical endorsement of the party "establishment", including most members of Congress, mayors, governors, "the south", and several major labor unions. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_509

With state registration deadlines long past, Humphrey joined the race too late to enter any primaries but had the support of the president. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_510

Kennedy, like his brother before him, planned to win the nomination through popular support in the primaries. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_511

Kennedy ran on a platform of racial and economic justice, non-aggression in foreign policy, decentralization of power, and social change. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_512

A crucial element of 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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_513

His policy objectives did not sit well with the business community, where he was viewed as something of a fiscal liability, opposed as they were to the tax increases necessary to fund social programs. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_514

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?" Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_515

He replied to the medical students, about to enter lucrative careers, "From you." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_516

It was this intense and frank mode of dialogue with which he was to continue to engage those whom he viewed as not being traditional allies of Democratic ideals or initiatives. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_517

In a speech at the University of Alabama, he argued, "I believe that any who seek high office this year must go before all Americans, not just those who agree with them, but also those who disagree, recognizing that it is not just our supporters, not just those who vote for us, but all Americans who we must lead in the difficult years ahead." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_518

He aroused rabid animosity in some quarters, with J. Edgar Hoover's Deputy Clyde Tolson reported as saying, "I hope that someone shoots and kills the son of a bitch." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_519

Kennedy's presidential campaign brought out both "great enthusiasm" and anger in people. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_520

His message of change raised hope for some and brought fear to others. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_521

Kennedy wanted to be a bridge across the divide of American society. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_522

His 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 Johnson's Great Society. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_523

Kennedy 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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_524

He 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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_525

On April 4, 1968, Kennedy learned of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and gave a heartfelt impromptu speech in Indianapolis's inner city, calling for a reconciliation between the races. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_526

The address was the first time Kennedy spoke publicly about his brother's killing. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_527

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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_528

Kennedy addressed the City Club of Cleveland the next day, on April 5, 1968, delivering the famous On the Mindless Menace of Violence speech. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_529

He attended King's funeral, accompanied by Jacqueline and Ted Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_530

He was described as being the "only white politician to hear only cheers and applause." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_531

Despite Kennedy's high profile and name recognition, McCarthy won most of the early primaries, including Kennedy's native state of Massachusetts and some primaries in which he and Kennedy were in direct competition. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_532

Kennedy won the Indiana Democratic primary on May 7 with 42 percent of the vote, and the Nebraska primary on May 14 with 52 percent of the vote. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_533

On May 28, Kennedy lost the Oregon primary, marking the first time a Kennedy lost an election, and it was assumed that McCarthy was the preferred choice among the young voters. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_534

If he could defeat McCarthy in the California primary, the leadership of the campaign thought, he would knock McCarthy out of the race and set up a one-on-one against Vice President Humphrey at the Chicago national convention in August. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_535

Assassination Robert F. Kennedy_section_24

Main article: Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_536

Kennedy scored major victories when he won both the California and South Dakota primaries on June 4. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_537

He addressed his supporters shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in a ballroom at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_538

Leaving the ballroom, he went through the hotel kitchen after being told it was a shortcut to a press room. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_539

He did this despite being advised by his bodyguard—former FBI agent Bill Barry—to avoid the kitchen. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_540

In a crowded kitchen passageway, Kennedy turned to his left and shook hands with hotel busboy Juan Romero just as Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian, opened fire with a .22-caliber revolver. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_541

Kennedy was hit three times, and five other people were wounded. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_542

George Plimpton, former decathlete Rafer Johnson, and former professional football player Rosey Grier are credited with wrestling Sirhan to the ground after he shot the senator. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_543

As Kennedy lay mortally wounded, Romero cradled his head and placed a rosary in his hand. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_544

Kennedy asked Romero, "Is everybody OK? Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_545

", and Romero responded, "Yes, everybody's OK." Kennedy then turned away from Romero and said, "Everything's going to be OK." After several minutes, medical attendants arrived and lifted the senator onto a stretcher, prompting him to whisper, "Don't lift me", which were his last words. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_546

He lost consciousness shortly thereafter. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_547

He was rushed first to Los Angeles' Central Receiving Hospital, less than 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the Ambassador Hotel, and then to the adjoining (one city block distant) Good Samaritan Hospital. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_548

Despite extensive neurosurgery to remove the bullet and bone fragments from his brain, Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1:44 a.m. (PDT) on June 6, nearly 26 hours after the shooting. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_549

Robert Kennedy's death, like the 1963 assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, has been the subject of conspiracy theories. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_550

Funeral Robert F. Kennedy_section_25

Kennedy's body was returned to Manhattan, where it lay in repose at Saint Patrick's Cathedral from approximately 10:00 p.m. until 10:00 a.m. on June 8. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_551

A high requiem Mass was held at the cathedral at 10:00 a.m. on June 8. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_552

The service was attended by members of the extended Kennedy family, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson, and members of the Johnson cabinet. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_553

Ted, the only surviving Kennedy brother, said the following: Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_554

The requiem Mass concluded with the hymn "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", sung by Andy Williams. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_555

Immediately following the Mass, Kennedy's body was transported by a special private train to Washington, D.C. Kennedy's funeral train was pulled by two Penn Central GG1 electric locomotives. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_556

Thousands of mourners lined the tracks and stations along the route, paying their respects as the train passed. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_557

The train departed New York at 12:30 pm. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_558

When it arrived in Elizabeth, New Jersey, an eastbound train on a parallel track to the funeral train hit and killed two spectators and seriously injured four, after they were unable to get off the track in time, even though the eastbound train's engineer had slowed to 30 mph for the normally 55 mph curve, blown his horn continuously, and rung his bell through the curve. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_559

The normally four-hour trip took more than eight hours because of the thick crowds lining the tracks on the 225-mile (362 km) journey. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_560

The train was scheduled to arrive at about 4:30 pm, but sticking brakes on the casket-bearing car contributed to delays, and the train finally arrived at 9:10 p.m. on June 8. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_561

Burial Robert F. Kennedy_section_26

Main article: Grave of Robert F. Kennedy Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_562

Kennedy was buried close to his brother John in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_563

Although he had always maintained that he wished to be buried in Massachusetts, his family believed Robert should be interred in Arlington next to his brother. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_564

The procession left Union Station and passed the New Senate Office Building, where he had his offices, and then proceeded to the Lincoln Memorial, where it paused. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_565

The Marine Corps Band played The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_566

The funeral motorcade arrived at the cemetery at 10:24 pm. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_567

As the vehicles entered the cemetery, people lining the roadway spontaneously lit candles to guide the motorcade to the burial site. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_568

The 15-minute ceremony began at 10:30 p.m. Cardinal Patrick O'Boyle, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, officiated at the graveside service in lieu of Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston, who fell ill during the trip. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_569

Also officiating was Archbishop of New York Terence Cooke. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_570

On behalf of the United States, John Glenn presented the folded flag to Senator Ted Kennedy, who passed it to Robert's eldest son, Joe, who passed it to Ethel Kennedy. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_571

The Navy Band played The Navy Hymn. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_572

Officials at Arlington National Cemetery said that Kennedy's burial was the only night burial to have taken place at the cemetery. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_573

(The re-interment of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who died two days after his birth in August 1963, and a stillborn daughter, Arabella, both children of President Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, also occurred at night.) Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_574

After the president was interred in Arlington Cemetery, the two infants were buried next to him on December 5, 1963, in a private ceremony without publicity. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_575

His brother, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, was also buried at night, in 2009. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_576

On June 9, President Lyndon B. Johnson assigned security staff to all U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_577 presidential candidates and declared an official national day of mourning. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_578

After the assassination, the mandate of the U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_579 Secret Service was altered by Congress to include the protection of U.S. presidential candidates. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_580

Personal life Robert F. Kennedy_section_27

Family Robert F. Kennedy_section_28

On June 17, 1950, Kennedy married socialite Ethel Skakel, the third daughter of businessman George and Ann Skakel (née Brannack), at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenwich, Connecticut. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_581

The couple had 11 children; Kathleen (b. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_582

1951), Joseph (b. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_583

1952), Robert Jr. (b. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_584

1954), David (1955–1984), Courtney (b. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_585

1956), Michael (1958–1997), Kerry (b. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_586

1959), Christopher (b. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_587

1963), Max (b. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_588

1965), Douglas (b. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_589

1967), and Rory (b. December 1968, after her father's assassination). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_590

Kennedy owned a home at the well-known Kennedy compound on Cape Cod, in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts; however, he spent most of his time at his estate in McLean, Virginia, known as Hickory Hill (located west of Washington, D.C.). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_591

His widow, Ethel, and their children continued to live at Hickory Hill after his death. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_592

Ethel Kennedy sold Hickory Hill for $8.25 million in 2009. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_593

Attitudes and approach Robert F. Kennedy_section_29

Kennedy was said to be the gentlest and shyest of the family, as well as the least articulate orally. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_594

By the time he was a young boy, his grandmother, Josie Fitzgerald, worried he would become a "sissy". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_595

His mother had a similar concern, as he was the "smallest and thinnest", but soon afterward, the family discovered "there was no fear of that". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_596

Family friend Lem Billings met Kennedy when he was eight years old and would later reflect that he loved him, adding that Kennedy "was the nicest little boy I ever met". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_597

Billings also said Kennedy was barely noticed "in the early days, but that's because he didn't bother anybody". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_598

Luella Hennessey, who became the nurse for the Kennedy children when Kennedy was 12, called him "the most thoughtful and considerate" of his siblings. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_599

Kennedy was teased by his siblings, as in their family it was a norm for humor to be displayed in that fashion. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_600

He would turn jokes on himself or remain silent. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_601

Despite his gentle demeanor, he could be outspoken, and once engaged a priest in a public argument that horrified his mother, who later conceded that he had been correct all along. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_602

Even when arguing for a noble cause, his comments could have "a cutting quality". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_603

Although Joe Kennedy's most ambitious dreams centered around Bobby's older brothers, Bobby maintained the code of personal loyalty that seemed to infuse the life of his family. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_604

His competitiveness was admired by his father and elder brothers, while his loyalty bound them more affectionately close. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_605

A rather timid child, he was often the target of his father's dominating temperament. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_606

Working on the campaigns of older brother John, he was more involved, passionate, and tenacious than the candidate himself, obsessed with detail, fighting out every battle, and taking workers to task. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_607

He had always been closer to John than the other members of the family. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_608

Kennedy's opponents on Capitol Hill maintained that his collegiate magnanimity was sometimes hindered by a tenacious and somewhat impatient manner. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_609

His professional life was dominated by the same attitudes that governed his family life: a certainty that good humor and leisure must be balanced by service and accomplishment. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_610

Schlesinger comments that Kennedy could be both the most ruthlessly diligent and yet generously adaptable of politicians, at once both temperamental and forgiving. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_611

In this he was very much his father's son, lacking truly lasting emotional independence, and yet possessing a great desire to contribute. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_612

He lacked the innate self-confidence of his contemporaries 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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_613

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." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_614

He also confessed to possessing a bad temper that required self-control: "My biggest problem as counsel is to keep my temper. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_615

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. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_616

To see people sit in front of us and lie and evade makes me boil inside. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_617

But you can't lose your temper; if you do, the witness has gotten the best of you." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_618

Attorney Michael O'Donnell wrote, "[Kennedy] offered that most intoxicating of political aphrodisiacs: authenticity. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_619

He was blunt to a fault, and his favorite campaign activity was arguing with college students. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_620

To many, his idealistic opportunism was irresistible." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_621

On Kennedy's ideological development, his brother John once remarked, "He might once have been intolerant of liberals as such because his early experience was with that high-minded, high-speaking kind who never got anything done. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_622

That all changed the moment he met a liberal like Walter Reuther." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_623

Religious faith and Greek philosophy Robert F. Kennedy_section_30

Kennedy's Catholicism was central to his politics and personal attitude to life and its purpose; he inherited his faith from his family. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_624

He was more religious than his brothers and approached his duties with a Catholic worldview. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_625

Throughout his life, he 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 his older brother's assassination. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_626

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 F. Kennedy_sentence_627

In the last years of his life, he also found great solace in the playwrights and poets of ancient Greece, especially the writings of Aeschylus, suggested to him by Jacqueline after JFK's death. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_628

In his Indianapolis speech on April 4, 1968, on the day of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Kennedy quoted these lines from Aeschylus: Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_629

Legacy Robert F. Kennedy_section_31

Kennedy was the first sibling of a president of the United States to serve as U.S. Attorney General. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_630

Biographer Evan Thomas wrote that at times Kennedy misused his powers by "modern standards", but concluded, "on the whole, even counting his warts, he was a great attorney general." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_631

Walter Isaacson commented that Kennedy "turned out arguably to be the best attorney general in history", praising him for his championing of civil rights and other initiatives of the administration. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_632

As Kennedy stepped down from being attorney general in 1964 to assume the office of senator from New York, The New York Times, notably having criticized his appointment three years prior, praised Kennedy for raising the standards of the position. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_633

Some of his successor attorneys general have been unfavorably compared to him, for not displaying the same level of poise in the profession. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_634

Near the end of his time in office as attorney general under Barack Obama, Eric Holder cited Kennedy as the inspiration for his belief that the Justice Department could be "a force for that which is right." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_635

Kennedy has also been praised for his oratorical abilities and his skill at creating unity. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_636

Joseph A. Palermo of The Huffington Post observed that Kennedy's words "could cut through social boundaries and partisan divides in a way that seems nearly impossible today." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_637

Dolores Huerta and Philip W. Johnston expressed the view that Kennedy, both in his speeches and actions, was unique in his willingness to take political risks. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_638

That blunt sincerity was said by associates to be authentic; Frank N. Magill wrote that Kennedy's oratorical skills lent their support to minorities and other disenfranchised groups who began seeing him as an ally. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_639

Kennedy's assassination was a blow to the optimism for a brighter future that his campaign had brought for many Americans who lived through the turbulent 1960s. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_640

Juan Romero, the busboy who shook hands with Kennedy right before he was shot, later said, "It made me realize that no matter how much hope you have it can be taken away in a second." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_641

Kennedy's death has been cited as a significant factor in the Democratic Party's loss of the 1968 presidential election. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_642

Since his passing, Kennedy has become generally well-respected by liberals and conservatives, which is far from the polarized views of him during his lifetime. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_643

Joe Scarborough, John Ashcroft, Tom Bradley, Mark Dayton, John Kitzhaber, Max Cleland, Tim Cook, Phil Bredesen, Joe Biden, J. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_644 K. Rowling, Jim McGreevey, Gavin Newsom, and Ray Mabus have acknowledged Kennedy's influence on them. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_645

Josh Zeitz of Politico observed, "Bobby Kennedy has since become an American folk hero—the tough, crusading liberal gunned down in the prime of life." Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_646

Kennedy's (and to a lesser extent his older brother's) ideas about using government authority to assist less fortunate peoples became central to American liberalism as a tenet of the "Kennedy legacy". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_647

Honors Robert F. Kennedy_section_32

In the months and years after Robert F. Kennedy's death, numerous roads, public schools, and other facilities across the United States have been named in his memory. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_648

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights was founded in 1968, with an international award program to recognize human rights activists. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_649

The sports stadium in Washington, D.C., was renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 1969. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_650

In 1978 the United States Congress awarded Kennedy its Gold Medal of Honor. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_651

On January 12, 1979, a 15-cent commemorative U.S. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_652 Postal Service stamp (U.S. #1770) was issued in Washington.D.C., honoring R.F.K. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_653

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing distributed 159,297,600 of the perforated, blue-and-white stamps—an unusually-large printing. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_654

The stamp design was taken from a family photo suggested by his wife, Ethel. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_655

In 1998 the United States Mint released a special dollar coin that featured his image on the obverse and the emblems of the United States Department of Justice and the United States Senate on the reverse. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_656

On November 20, 2001, U.S. President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft dedicated the Department of Justice headquarters building in Washington, D.C., as the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, honoring Kennedy on what would have been his 76th birthday. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_657

They both spoke during the ceremony, as did Kennedy's eldest son, Joseph. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_658

In a further effort to remember Kennedy and continue his work helping the disadvantaged, a small group of private citizens launched the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps in 1969. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_659

The private, nonprofit, Massachusetts-based organization helps more than 800 abused and neglected children each year. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_660

A bust of Kennedy resides in the library of the University of Virginia School of Law where he obtained his law degree. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_661

On June 4, 2008 (the eve of the 40th anniversary of his assassination), the New York State Assembly voted to rename the Triborough Bridge in New York City the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_662

New York State Governor David Paterson signed the legislation into law on August 8, 2008. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_663

The bridge is now commonly known as the RFK-Triborough Bridge. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_664

On September 20, 2016, the United States Navy announced the renaming of a refueling ship in honor of Kennedy during a ceremony attended by members of his family. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_665

Personal items and documents from his office in the Justice Department Building are displayed in a permanent exhibit dedicated to him at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_666

Papers from his years as attorney general, senator, peace and civil rights activist and presidential candidate, as well as personal correspondence, are also housed in the library. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_667

Established in 1984, the Robert F. Kennedy Assassination Archives stored at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth contains thousands of copies of government documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act public disclosure process as well as manuscripts, photographs, audiotape interviews, video tapes, news clippings and research notes compiled by journalists and other private citizens who have investigated discrepancies in the case. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_668

Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Robert F. Kennedy_section_33

Several public institutions jointly honor Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_669

Robert F. Kennedy_unordered_list_0

  • In 1969, the former Woodrow Wilson Junior College, a two-year institution and a constituent campus of the City Colleges of Chicago, was renamed Kennedy–King College.Robert F. Kennedy_item_0_0
  • In 1994 the City of Indianapolis erected the Landmark for Peace Memorial in Robert Kennedy's honor near the space made famous by his speech from the back of a pickup truck the night King died. The monument in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park depicts a sculpture of RFK reaching out from a large metal slab to a sculpture of King, who is 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 state historical marker has also been placed at the site. A nephew of King and Indiana U.S. Congresswoman Julia Carson presided over the event; both made speeches from the back of a pickup truck in similar fashion to RFK's speech.Robert F. Kennedy_item_0_1

In 2019, Kennedy's "Speech on the Death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." (April 4, 1968) was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_670

Publications Robert F. Kennedy_section_34

Robert F. Kennedy_unordered_list_1

Art, entertainment, and media Robert F. Kennedy_section_35

Main article: Robert F. Kennedy in media Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_671

Kennedy has been the subject of several documentaries and has appeared in various works of popular culture. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_672

Kennedy's role in the Cuban Missile Crisis has been dramatized by Martin Sheen in the TV play The Missiles of October (1974) and by Steven Culp in Thirteen Days (2000). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_673

The film Bobby (2006) is the story of multiple people's lives leading up to RFK's assassination. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_674

The film employs stock footage from his presidential campaign, and he is briefly portrayed by Dave Fraunces. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_675

Barry Pepper won an Emmy for his portrayal of Kennedy in The Kennedys (2011), an 8-part miniseries. Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_676

He is played by Peter Sarsgaard in the film about Jacqueline Kennedy, Jackie (2016). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_677

He is played by Jack Huston in Martin Scorsese's film The Irishman (2019). Robert F. Kennedy_sentence_678

See also Robert F. Kennedy_section_36

Robert F. Kennedy_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert F. Kennedy.