From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
1998 Robert Kennedy special dollar coin
Robert Francis Kennedy (November 20, 1925 - June 6, 1968) was the brother of John F. Kennedy, and appointed by the latter as Attorney General in his Cabinet. He worked closely with his brother during the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Robert Kennedy was born the seventh child of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Kennedy on November 20, 1925. Robert Kennedy, not as gifted in physical stature or intellectual ability as his siblings, learned at an early age to strive for his absolute best.
RFK attended and graduated from Harvard University in 1948, after a brief stint in the Navy. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1951 and then managed his brother John's successful U.S. Senate campaign in 1952.
RFK soon made a name for himself as the chief counsel of the Senate Labor Rackets Committee Hearings, beginning in 1956. In a dramatic seen, Kennedy squared off against Jimmy Hoffa during the antagonistic verbal sparring that marked Hoffa's testimony. RFK left the Rackets Committee in 1959 in order to run soon-to-be President Kennedy's campaign.
JFK rewarded his younger brother's efforts by naming him to his Cabinet as Attorney General of the United States. During the Kennedy Administration Bobby played a key advisory role for John Kennedy. Among the weighty issues they faced were the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 18 months later, the escalation of military action in Vietnam and the widening spread of the Civil Rights Movement and its retaliatory violence.
Soon after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Robert Kennedy left the Cabinet to run for a seat in the United States Senate representing New York. He was elected in November of 1964. During his years as a US Senator, Kennedy visited Apartheid-ruled South Africa, Helped to start a successful redevelopment project in poverty stricken Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York City, visited the Mississippi Delta as a member of the Senate committee on hunger and, reversing his prior stance, called for a halt in further escalation of the Vietnam War.
Kennedy declared his candidacy for the Presidency on March 16, 1968. On April 4, during a campaign stop in Indianapolis, Bobby learned of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr During a brilliant, impromptu speech in Indianapolis' inner city Kennedy called for a reconciliation between the races. Thousands of people were injured, 43 were killed in riots throughout the United States in the aftermath of King's murder. Indianapolis was quiet.
Kennedy won the Indiana and Nebraska primaries, lost the Oregon primary and on June 4, 1968 picked up a big boost in his drive toward the Democratic nomination when he won in South Dakota and in California. After addressing his supporters that evening in a ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Robert Kennedy was shot at point blank range. A Jordanian-American named Sirhan B. Sirhan was convicted of the shooting.
Robert Kennedy is buried near his brother in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1998, the United States Mint released a special dollar coin that featured Kennedy on the obverse and the emblems of the United States Department of Justice and the United States Senate on the reverse. In Washington, DC on November 20, 2001, US President George W. Bush dedicated the Department of Justice headquarters building as the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, honoring RFK on what would have been his 76th birthday.