|Name:||Robert F. Kennedy|
|Birth Day:||November 20, 1925|
|Death Date:||Jun 6, 1968 (age 42)|
|Birth Place:||Brookline, United States|
U.S. Senator from New York and Attorney General under his brother John's administration who was assassinated in 1968 while he was running for president. He spearheaded many of the civil rights initiatives that the Kennedy Administration put forward.
|#1||Joseph P. Kennedy Jr.||Brother||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#2||Ted Kennedy||Brother||$100 Million||N/A||77||Politician|
|#3||John F. Kennedy||Brother||$3 Million (Approx.)||N/A||46||President|
|#4||Kerry Kennedy||Daughter||$10 Million||N/A||61||Political Wife|
|#5||Kathleen Kennedy Townsend||Daughter||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||69||Politician|
|#6||Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.||Father||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||81||Entrepreneur|
|#7||Maeve Kennedy McKean||Grandchildren||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#8||Joe Kennedy III||Grandson||N/A||N/A||40||Politician|
|#9||Rose Kennedy||Mother||$500 Million||N/A||104||Politician|
|#10||Patrick Bouvier Kennedy||Nephew||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||1||Miscellaneous|
|#11||John F. Kennedy Jr.||Nephew||$50 Million||N/A||38||Entrepreneur|
|#12||Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#13||Joseph P. Kennedy II||Son||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#14||Ethel Kennedy||Spouse||$50 Million||N/A||92||Political Wife|
|#15||Kara Kennedy||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||51||Celebrity Family Member|
|#16||Rory Kennedy||$10 Million||N/A||52||Director|
|#17||Mark Kennedy||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||63||Politician|
|#18||Kyra Kennedy||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||25||Celebrity Family Member|
|#19||Conor Kennedy||$10 Million||N/A||26||Celebrity Family Member|
|#20||Jackie Kennedy||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||64||Miscellaneous|
|#21||John Kennedy Jr.||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||38||Actor|
|#22||Caroline Kennedy||$250 million (2015)||N/A||63||Politician|
|#23||Patricia Kennedy||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||82||Celebrity Family Member|
|#24||Patrick J Kennedy||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||53||Politician|
|#25||Jacqueline Kennedy||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||64||Political Wife|
|#26||Joan Bennett Kennedy||$1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.)||N/A||84||Celebrity Family Member|
|#27||Robert F Kennedy Jr.||$50 Million||N/A||66||Lawyer|
|#28||Robert F. Kennedy Jr.||$50 million (2019)||N/A||66||President|
|#29||Christopher G. Kennedy||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||57||Celebrity Family Member|
|#30||Michael Lemoyne Kennedy||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||62||Celebrity Family Member|
|#31||Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy||$3 Million (Approx.)||N/A||33||Entrepreneur|
|#32||Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||64||Political Wife|
|#33||Robert Kennedy Jr.||$7 Million (Approx.)||N/A||66||Unclassified|
As per our current Database, Robert F. Kennedy died on Jun 6, 1968 (age 42).
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Shortly before his 18th birthday, he enlisted in the Naval Reserve as an apprentice seaman and later graduated from Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law.
Robert Francis Kennedy was born outside Boston in Brookline, Massachusetts, on November 20, 1925. He was the seventh of nine children to businessman/politician Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and philanthropist/socialite Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. His parents were members of two prominent Irish American families in Boston. His eight siblings were Joseph Jr., John, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Jean, and Ted. All four of his grandparents were children of Irish immigrants.
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. He attended the private Gibbs School for Boys in London for seventh grade. In April 1939, he gave his first public speech at the placing of a cornerstone for a youth club in England. According to embassy and newspaper reports, his statements were penciled in his own hand and delivered in a "calm and confident" manner. Bobby returned to the United States just before the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
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. Rose Kennedy was unhappy with the school's use of the Protestant Bible. After two months, she took advantage of her ambassador husband's absence from Boston and withdrew Kennedy from St. Paul's. 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. Kennedy attended Portsmouth for eighth through tenth grade.
His father was a wealthy businessman and a leading Irish figure in the Democratic Party. 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. He also urged the younger children to examine and discuss current events in order to propel them to public service. After Joseph Jr. was killed during World War II, the senior Kennedy's hopes fell on his second son, John, to become president. Joseph Sr. had the money and connections to play a central role in the family's political ambitions.
In September 1942, Kennedy transferred to his third boarding school, Milton Academy, in Milton, Massachusetts, for 11th and 12th grades. His father wanted him to transfer to Milton, believing it would better prepare him for Harvard. At Milton, he met and became friends with David Hackett. He invited Hackett to join him for Sunday Mass. Hackett started accompanying him, and was impressed when Kennedy took it upon himself to fill in for a missing altar boy one Sunday. 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. 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. Kennedy's grades improved.
Six weeks before his 18th birthday in 1943, Kennedy enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve as a seaman apprentice. 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. His V-12 training began at Harvard (March–November 1944) before he was relocated to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine (November 1944 – June 1945). He returned to Harvard once again in June 1945 completing his post-training requirements in January 1946. 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. 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. 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." He added, "If I don't get the hell out of here soon I'll die." In addition to Hackett, who was serving as a paratrooper, more of his Parker Hall dorm mates went overseas and left him behind. With others entering combat before him, Kennedy said this made him "feel more and more like a Draft Dodger [sic] or something". He was also frustrated with the apparent desire to shirk military responsibility by some of the other V-12 students.
Kennedy's brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. died in August 1944, when his bomber exploded during a volunteer mission known as Operation Aphrodite. Robert was most affected by his father's reaction to his eldest son's passing. He appeared completely heartbroken and his peer Fred Garfield commented that Kennedy developed depression and questioned his faith for a short time. After his brother's death, Kennedy gained more attention, moving higher up the family patriarchy. On December 15, 1945, the U.S. 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. On May 30, 1946, he received his honorable discharge from the Navy. For his service in the Navy, Kennedy was eligible for the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
In September 1946, Kennedy entered Harvard as a junior, having received credit for his time in the V-12 program. 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. He earned his varsity letter when his coach sent him in wearing a cast during the last minutes of a game against Yale. His father spoke positively of him when he served as a blocking back and sometime receiver for the faster Dave Hackett. Joseph Sr. attended some of Kennedy's practices and saw his son catch a touchdown pass in an early-season rout of Western Maryland. His teammates admired his physical courage. He was five feet ten and 155 pounds, which made him too small for college football. Despite this, he was a fearless hitter and once tackled a 230-pound fullback head-on. Wally Flynn, another player, looked up in the huddle after one play to see him crying after he broke his leg. He disregarded the injury and kept playing. Kennedy earned two varsity letters over the course of the 1946 and 1947 seasons.
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. Biographer Schlesinger wrote that the election served as an entry into politics for both Robert and John. Robert graduated from Harvard in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in political science.
In September 1948, he enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville. 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. Kennedy's paper on Yalta, written during his senior year, is deposited in the Law Library's Treasure Trove.
On June 17, 1950, Kennedy married Ethel Skakel at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenwich, Connecticut. He graduated from law school in June 1951 and flew with Ethel to Greenwich to stay in his father-in-law's guest house. The couple's first child, Kathleen, was born on July 4, 1951.
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. The couple had 11 children; Kathleen (b. 1951), Joseph (b. 1952), Robert Jr. (b. 1954), David (1955–1984), Courtney (b. 1956), Michael (1958–1997), Kerry (b. 1959), Christopher (b. 1963), Max (b. 1965), Douglas (b. 1967), and Rory (b. December 1968, after her father's assassination).
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. In October 1951, he embarked on a seven-week Asian trip with his brother John (then a U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts' 11th district) and their sister Patricia to Israel, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Japan. 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. On this trip, the brothers met Liaquat Ali Khan just before his assassination, and India's prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
In 1951, Kennedy was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. 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. Department of Justice; the section was charged with investigating suspected Soviet agents. 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. On June 6, 1952, Kennedy resigned to manage his brother John's U.S. Senate campaign in Massachusetts. JFK's victory was of great importance to the Kennedys, elevating him to national prominence and turning him into a serious potential presidential candidate. But John's victory was equally important to Robert, who felt he had succeeded in eliminating his father's negative perceptions of him.
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. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Kennedy disapproved of McCarthy's aggressive methods of garnering intelligence on suspected communists. This was a highly visible job for him. He resigned in July 1953, but "retained a fondness for McCarthy". 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. In 1954, Kenneth O'Donnell and Larry O'Brien urged Kennedy to consider running for Massachusetts Attorney General, but he declined.
Despite the fanfare within the Democratic Party, President Johnson was not inclined to have Kennedy on his ticket. 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. 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". To block Kennedy, Johnson considered nominating his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, as vice presidential candidate, but the Kennedy family vetoed his name. 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. Johnson instead chose Senator Hubert Humphrey to be his running mate.
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. That month, McCarthy's chief counsel Roy Cohn subpoenaed Annie Lee Moss, accusing her of membership in the Communist Party. Kennedy revealed that Cohn had called the wrong Annie Lee Moss and he requested the file on Moss from the FBI. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had been forewarned by Cohn and denied him access, calling RFK "an arrogant whippersnapper". 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. The Moss incident turned Cohn into an enemy, which led to Kennedy assisting Democratic senators in ridiculing Cohn during the hearings. The animosity grew to the point where Cohn had to be restrained after asking RFK if he wanted to fight him. 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. Junior Chamber of Commerce. His father had arranged the nomination, his first national award. In 1955 Kennedy was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
In 1956, Kennedy moved his growing family outside Washington to a house called Hickory Hill, which he purchased from his brother John. This enormous 13-bedroom, 13-bath home was situated on 6 acres (2.4 ha) in McLean, Virginia. 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. Unimpressed with Stevenson, he reportedly voted for incumbent Dwight D. Eisenhower. 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. Shortly after this, following instructions by his father, Kennedy tried making amends with J. Edgar Hoover. There seemed to be some improvement in their interactions, which came to be seen as "elemental political necessity" by Kennedy. This later changed after Kennedy was appointed attorney general, where Hoover saw him as an "unprecedented threat".
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. 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. In a famous scene, Kennedy squared off with Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa during the antagonistic argument that marked Hoffa's testimony. 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. 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. They believed Kennedy covered for Walter Reuther and the United Automobile Workers, a union which typically would back Democratic office seekers. 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. He left the committee in late 1959 in order to run his brother's presidential campaign.
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. John Seigenthaler assisted Kennedy. Kennedy went to work on the presidential campaign of his brother, John. 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. 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.
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. However, their father overruled the president-elect. 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.
As one of the president's closest White House advisers, Kennedy played a crucial role in the events surrounding the Berlin Crisis of 1961. Operating mainly through a private, backchannel connection to Soviet spy Georgi Bolshakov, he relayed important diplomatic communications between the American and Soviet governments. 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.
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. The enmity between the two men was intense, with accusations of a personal vendetta—what Hoffa called a "blood feud"—exchanged between them. 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. 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. 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. After learning of Hoffa's conviction by telephone, Kennedy issued congratulatory messages to the three prosecutors. 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. 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.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover viewed civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. as an upstart troublemaker, calling him an "enemy of the state". In February 1962 Hoover presented Kennedy with allegations that some of King's close confidants and advisers were communists. Concerned about the allegations, the FBI deployed agents to monitor King in the following months. Kennedy warned King to discontinue the suspected associations. 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. 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. 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. The wiretapping continued through June 1966 and was revealed in 1968, days before Kennedy's death.
Kennedy remained committed to civil rights enforcement to such a degree that he commented in 1962 that it seemed to envelop almost every area of his public and private life, from prosecuting corrupt Southern electoral officials to answering late night calls from Coretta Scott King concerning the imprisonment of her husband for demonstrations in Alabama. During his tenure as attorney general, he undertook the most energetic and persistent desegregation of the administration that Capitol Hill had ever experienced. He demanded that every area of government begin recruiting realistic levels of black and other ethnic workers, going so far as to criticize Vice President Johnson for his failure to desegregate his own office staff. 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."
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. Asked in an interview in May 1962, "What do you see as the big problem ahead for you, is it crime or internal security?" Kennedy replied, "Civil rights." The president came to share his brother's sense of urgency on the matters at hand to such an extent that it was at the attorney general's insistence that he made his famous June 1963 address to the nation on civil rights.
In September 1962, Kennedy sent a force of U.S. marshals and deputized U.S. 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. 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. He also was very concerned there might be a "mini-civil war" between federal troops and armed protesters. President Kennedy reluctantly sent federal troops after the situation on campus turned violent.
Kennedy's attempts to end the Freedom Rides early were tied to an upcoming summit with Nikita Khrushchev and Charles de Gaulle. He believed the continued international publicity of race riots would tarnish the president heading into international negotiations. 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. 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.
At the time that President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963, RFK was at home with aides from the Justice Department. J. Edgar Hoover called and told him his brother had been shot. Hoover then hung up before he could ask any questions. Kennedy later said he thought Hoover had enjoyed telling him the news. Kennedy then received a call from Tazewell Shepard, a naval aide to the president, who told him that his brother was dead. 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. He ordered the Secret Service to dismantle the Oval Office and cabinet room's secret taping systems. He scheduled a meeting with CIA director John McCone and asked if the CIA had any involvement in his brother's death. 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".
Officials at Arlington National Cemetery said that Kennedy's burial was the only night burial to have taken place at the cemetery. (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.) 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. His brother, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, was also buried at night, in 2009.
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. 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. He was a malcontent who could not get along here or in the Soviet Union." He added, "I have not read the report, nor do I intend to. But I have been briefed on it and I am completely satisfied that the Commission investigated every lead and examined every piece of evidence. The Commission's inquiry was thorough and conscientious." 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." 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." 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".
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. 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. 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.
Kennedy discussed the vice presidency with Arthur Schlesinger. 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". In his first interview after the assassination Kennedy said he was not considering the vice presidency. 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. ...If they don't fulfill and follow out my brother's program, I don't want to have anything to do with them." 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.
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. 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". On 27 July 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". Johnson wanted Kennedy to tell the media that he decided to withdraw his name, but he refused, saying the president could do that himself. 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. The Democratic powerbroker Clark Clifford suggested to Johnson a way to block Kennedy. 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?" When Johnson replied "That's pretty thin, isn't it?", leading Clifford to answer, "Well, it is pretty thin, but it's a lot better than nothing".
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". 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. 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. 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. 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. After hearing Johnson's denial, Kennedy wrote: "He tells so many lies that he convinces himself after a while he's telling the truth. He just doesn't recognize truth or falsehood".
Johnson in a meeting with the Secretary of State Dean Rusk talked much about Kennedy. Both felt that Kennedy was "freakish ambitious" with Rusk saying: "Mr. President, I just can't wrap my mind around that kind of ambition. I don't know how to understand it". 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". 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.
Nine months after his brother's assassination, Kennedy left the cabinet to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate representing New York, announcing his candidacy on August 25, 1964, two days before the end of that year's Democratic National Convention. 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. Positive reception in Europe convinced him to remain in politics. 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. Kennedy was given permission to run by the New York State Democratic Committee on September 1, amid mixed feelings in regards to his candidacy. He also received the nomination of the Liberal Party of New York. Despite their notoriously difficult relationship, Johnson gave considerable support to Kennedy's campaign. 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. 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." 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. RFK charged Keating with having "not done much of anything constructive" despite his presence in Congress during a September 8 press conference. Kennedy won the November election, helped in part by Johnson's huge victory margin in New York.
Kennedy was the first sibling of a president of the United States to serve as U.S. Attorney General. 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." 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. 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. Some of his successor attorneys general have been unfavorably compared to him, for not displaying the same level of poise in the profession. 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."
Kennedy drew attention in Congress early on as the brother of President Kennedy, which set him apart from other senators. He drew more than fifty senators as spectators when he delivered a speech in the Senate on nuclear proliferation in June 1965. 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. 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". Kennedy's younger brother Ted was his senior there. Robert saw his brother as a guide on managing within the Senate, and the arrangement worked to deepen their relationship. Senator Harris noted that Kennedy was intense about matters and issues which concerned him. 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".
While serving in the Senate, Kennedy advocated gun control. 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. Speaking in support of the bill, Kennedy said, "For too long we dealt with these deadly weapons as if they were harmless toys. Yet their very presence, the ease of their acquisition and the familiarity of their appearance have led to thousands of deaths each year. With the passage of this bill we will begin to meet our responsibilities. It would save hundreds of thousands of lives in this country and spare thousands of families ... grief and heartache. ... " 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". 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. 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.
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. According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, before choosing to run for the Senate, Kennedy had sought an ambassadorship to South Vietnam. Entering the Senate, Kennedy initially kept private his disagreements with President Johnson on the war. While Kennedy vigorously supported his brother's earlier efforts, he never publicly advocated commitment of ground troops. 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. 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. 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. In July, after Johnson made a large commitment of American ground forces to Vietnam, Kennedy made multiple calls for a settlement through negotiation. The next month, John Paul Vann, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, wrote that Kennedy "indicat[ed] comprehension of the problems we face", in a letter to the senator. 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. 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.
Kennedy and his staff had employed a cautionary "amendments–only" strategy for his first year in the senate. In 1966 and 1967 they took more direct legislative action, but were met with increasing resistance from the Johnson administration. Despite perceptions that the two were hostile in their respective offices to each other, U.S. News reported Kennedy's support of the Johnson administration's "Great Society" program through his voting record. 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.
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.
In June 1966, he visited apartheid-era South Africa accompanied by his wife, Ethel, and a few aides. The tour was greeted with international praise at a time when few politicians dared to entangle themselves in the politics of South Africa. 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. In an interview with Look magazine he said:
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). 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. 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. Biographer Thomas wrote that Kennedy was moved after seeing the conditions of the workers, who he deemed were being taken advantage of. Chavez stressed to Kennedy that migrant workers needed to be recognized as human beings. 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."
On 31 January 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". 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. 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". 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". 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). Kennedy was displeased when he heard anti-war protesters chanting his name, saying "I'm not Wayne Morse". To put aside reports of a rift with Johnson, Kennedy flew with Johnson on Air Force One on a trip to New York on 23 February 1966, and barely clapped his hands in approval when Johnson denied waging a war of conquest in Vietnam. In an interview with the Today program, Kennedy conceded that his views on Vietnam were "a little confusing".
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. 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. 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. 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.
In 1967 Kennedy expressed his strong willingness to support a bill then under consideration for the abolition of the death penalty.
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. 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.
During his years as a senator, he helped to start a successful redevelopment project in poverty-stricken Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Schlesinger wrote that Kennedy had hoped Bedford-Stuyvesant would become an example of self-imposed growth for other impoverished neighborhoods. 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 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." 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. To them it's all just politics."
In the early part of 1967, Kennedy traveled to Europe, where he had discussions about Vietnam with leaders and diplomats. A story leaked to the State Department that Kennedy was talking about seeking peace while President Johnson was pursuing the war. Johnson became convinced that Kennedy was undermining his authority. 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. 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. On May 15, Kennedy debated Governor of California Ronald Reagan about the war. 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. He added that the view that Americans were fighting to end communism in Vietnam was "immoral".
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. On March 14, Kennedy met with defense secretary Clark Clifford at the Pentagon regarding the war. 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. 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. 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. Later that month, Kennedy called the war "the gravest kind of error" in a speech in Corvallis, Oregon. In an interview on June 4, hours before he was shot, Kennedy continued to advocate for a change in policy towards the war.
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."
In 1968 President Johnson prepared to run for re-election. In January, faced with what was widely considered an unrealistic race against an incumbent president, Kennedy stated that he would not seek the presidency. 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."
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. 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.
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. He stated, "I do not run for the presidency merely to oppose any man, but to propose new policies. I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, and I feel that I'm obliged to do all I can."
McCarthy supporters angrily denounced Kennedy as an opportunist. 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. Kennedy's announcement split the anti-war movement in two. On March 31, 1968, Johnson stunned the nation by dropping out of the race. 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. With state registration deadlines long past, Humphrey joined the race too late to enter any primaries but had the support of the president. Kennedy, like his brother before him, planned to win the nomination through popular support in the primaries.
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. The address was the first time Kennedy spoke publicly about his brother's killing. Riots broke out in 60 cities in the wake of King's death, but not in Indianapolis, a fact many attribute to the effect of this speech. Kennedy addressed the City Club of Cleveland the next day, on April 5, 1968, delivering the famous On the Mindless Menace of Violence speech. He attended King's funeral, accompanied by Jacqueline and Ted Kennedy. He was described as being the "only white politician to hear only cheers and applause."
Kennedy scored major victories when he won both the California and South Dakota primaries on June 4. He addressed his supporters shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in a ballroom at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Leaving the ballroom, he went through the hotel kitchen after being told it was a shortcut to a press room. He did this despite being advised by his bodyguard—former FBI agent Bill Barry—to avoid the kitchen. 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. Kennedy was hit three times, and five other people were wounded.
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. 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:
The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights was founded in 1968, with an international award program to recognize human rights activists.
The sports stadium in Washington, D.C., was renamed Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 1969.
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. The private, nonprofit, Massachusetts-based organization helps more than 800 abused and neglected children each year.
An hour after the president was shot, Bobby Kennedy received a phone call from Vice President Johnson before Johnson boarded Air Force One. 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. Eventually, the two concluded that the best course of action would be for Johnson to take the oath of office before returning to Washington. 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. 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. 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.
In 1978 the United States Congress awarded Kennedy its Gold Medal of Honor.
On January 12, 1979, a 15-cent commemorative U.S. Postal Service stamp (U.S. #1770) was issued in Washington.D.C., honoring R.F.K. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing distributed 159,297,600 of the perforated, blue-and-white stamps—an unusually-large printing. The stamp design was taken from a family photo suggested by his wife, Ethel.
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.
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.
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. They both spoke during the ceremony, as did Kennedy's eldest son, Joseph.
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. 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. 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. Mongoose was meant to incite a revolution within Cuba that would result in the downfall of Castro, not Castro's assassination.
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. New York State Governor David Paterson signed the legislation into law on August 8, 2008. The bridge is now commonly known as the RFK-Triborough Bridge.
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.). His widow, Ethel, and their children continued to live at Hickory Hill after his death. Ethel Kennedy sold Hickory Hill for $8.25 million in 2009.
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.
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".
Currently, Robert F. Kennedy is 96 years, 10 months and 8 days old. Robert F. Kennedy will celebrate 97th birthday on a Sunday 20th of November 2022.
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