Full Name: Robert Francis Kennedy
Age: 42 (born November 20, 1925 – died June 6, 1968)
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts
Political Office: Attorney General, Senator from New York
Years Active: 1961-1968
Spouse: Ethel Skakel (m. 1950-1968)
Number of Children: 11
Net Worth: $100 million
Social Profiles: Twitter | Facebook
For me, Robert F. Kennedy has been a personal hero and inspiration since I first learned about him in a high school history course. His courageous advocacy for civil rights, opposition to unchecked military intervention abroad, and concern for alleviating poverty spoke to my own developing social conscience. RFK combined soaring moral vision with sharp political instincts and a relentless drive to enact change.
Growing Up Kennedy: Early Life and Education
Born in 1925 as the 7th child of the wealthy Kennedy clan, RFK grew up in a competitive household where public service was emphasized as a noble calling. He followed his older brother John F. Kennedy to Harvard in 1946. An average student, RFK excelled at football and debate. He graduated in 1948 before earning his law degree from the University of Virginia.
Meteoric Rise Under President John F. Kennedy
When JFK won the presidency in 1960, Bobby was just 35 years old. As Attorney General, he became his trusted right-hand man in pushing a progressive agenda. RFK increased prosecutions against organized crime bosses by an astounding 800% from the previous administration. On civil rights, he provided key leadership in desegregating universities and securing voting rights.
Fighting Organized Crime as Attorney General
Determined to combat rampant organized crime, RFK assembled a team of lawyers that included future Supreme Court justice Byron White. They convicted high-profile mobsters like Jimmy Hoffa and sent them to prison. Within just 3 years, RFK‘s vigorous prosecutions helped shrink annual mob revenues by an estimated $700 million.
Elected as Senator Amid National Turmoil
After JFK‘s 1963 assassination, RFK continued under LBJ before resigning in 1964. That same year he was elected Senator from New York. In this role over the next 4 years, he spoke eloquently against escalations in Vietnam and continued advocating for civil rights and poverty reduction. His passionate idealism inspired many, especially college students.
Peacemaker: Seeking Nuclear Disarmament
On domestic issues, RFK was a progressive liberal voice. But in foreign affairs, he consistently urged non-violence and cautioned against rash military intervention. Amid Cold War nuclear tensions, he was an early proponent of nuclear disarmament treaties with the Soviet Union. He saw peace as the most important global priority.
The Tragic End of a Promising Campaign
Entering the 1968 presidential race, RFK spoke of healing national divides. He won several key Democratic primaries before being assassinated after a victory speech in L.A. It tragically ended his meteoric rise just as the White House seemed within reach. The nation lost a unifying voice right when it was most needed.
Enduring Legacy of a Champion for the Oppressed
To this day, RFK remains my political hero. His moral clarity, compassion for the marginalized, and courage in challenging unjust power structures still inspire me. It makes me wonder what he could have accomplished had he lived. RFK exemplified the best in principled leadership – a passionate voice for the voiceless.