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Robert F. Kennedy's Death
- Robert F. Kennedy
- November 20, 1925
- June 6, 1968
The son of privilege, born into a family of immense wealth and power, Robert Francis Kennedy tried to scale the heights achieved by his older brother, Jack, and ended up the same way – with a bullet wound to the head.
The seventh child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, "Bobby" as he came to be known was the smallest of his three brothers, Joseph, John and Edward. But he was known for a tenacious and feisty spirit that helped his brother Jack win the Democratic nomination in 1960 and later the Presidency, while serving as JFK's campaign manager.
Prodded by the family patriarch, Joseph P. Kennedy, newly-elected President John F. Kennedy chose his brother Robert to serve as his Attorney General, a move many considered controversial but which nevertheless won Senate approval.
Not only was RFK a top adviser to JFK in their years together in the White House, he also did some memorable work in his own right as Attorney General, going after Organized Crime figures and what he considered corrupt labor leaders, as in this memorable exchange with Teamsters Union boss Jimmy Hoffa.
When JFK was murdered in November 1963, Robert F Kennedy was left shattered.
He soon left the succeeding Johnson administration -- he and LBJ had never gotten along anyway.
And in 1966, even though he lived in Massachusetts, RFK move to New York and ran for the U.S. Senate and won the election beating longtime Republican incumbent, Kenneth Keating.
A strong and persistent critic of LBJ's Vietnam War policies, RFK finally decided to join the 1968 presidential race.
After LBJ quit the campaign, it was an open field in the Democratic Party, with no one in the race having the name power of Bobby Kennedy. While campaigning in Indianapolis in April 1986, Kennedy made this notable speech about the assassination of the civil rights champion, Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.
RFK appeared to be on his way of making a big impression at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago after winning the California primary in June 1968. But tragedy revisited the Kennedy family that June night.
Shot while taking a shortcut through the kitchen area of the Ambassador hotel in Los Angeles, Bobby Kennedy lied on the floor dying with a mortal gunshot wound to the back of his head, seen here assisted by a hotel busboy, Juan Romero.
A 22 year old Palestinian native, Sirhan B. Sirhan was arrested in the shooting, saying he'd felt betrayed by RFK's support for Israel in the Six Day War of 1967, which started one year earlier to the day of the shooting.
Though some conspiracy theories survive, Sirhan was convicted in the slaying and is serving a life sentence in a California State prison.
Buried near his brother Jack in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, many people still long for what Robert F. Kennedy promised to bring to the country. He remains a respected and beloved figure to many, even though he was mistrusted by many others while he was living.
Years after his death, he was honored with the renaming of New York City's Triborough Bridge to the Robert F Kennedy Bridge.