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Robert Francis Kennedy 

Who was RFK?

A few words about RFK

Robert Francis Kennedy was most commonly known by his initials RFK. Some of them – including the press – often referred to him as Bobby – just a nickname. He was both a lawyer and a politician. He gained notoriety as a politician going for the White House, but he was assassinated before the actual elections.

Prior to going for the presidency, Kennedy was the 64th U.S. Attorney General, as well as a U.S. Senator for New York.

Kennedy served as an attorney general between 1961 and 1965. He was a senator between 1965 and 1968, when he was assassinated. Just like his brothers Edward and John, he was one of the leading names in the Democratic Party.

An American icon

Defining the modern American liberalism

Kennedy’s childhood was happy and peaceful. He was born into a rich family, so he never missed anything. He was born in a small town of Massachusetts – Brookline. He served in the Naval Reserve for a couple of years, between 1944 and 1946. Once back, he decided to pursue his education and change his career.
The young Kennedy went back to study at the Harvard University. He graduated in 1948. He pursued law and got his degree from the University of Virginia. By 1951, he was already in the Massachusetts bar. Despite having a thing for law, he decided to stop for a few years. Instead, he focused on helping his brother John campaign for the U.S. Senate. John was successful in 1952. Robert Francis Kennedy decided to stay in politics and worked as an assistant counsel. He gained national notoriety when he challenged Jimmy Hoffa over corruption. He then helped his brother campaign for presidency in 1960. He became the U.S. Attorney General after the elections.
Robert Francis Kennedy was known for many things as a public figure, but some of them stood out in the crowd. He was an important advocate for the civil rights movement. At the same time, he led a constant fight against organized crime, as well as the Mafia. He was also involved in the policy involving Cuba. Over the years, Kennedy made a lot of enemies, so there are many rumors and leads regarding this assassination. All in all, once his brother was killed as a President, he was in the office for a few months after, serving under Johnson. He decided to continue his brother’s legacy and make a statement, so he quit the job in order to run for the Senate. He won straight away and aimed to make a few changes while in office. The senator was strongly against the war in Vietnam, as well as the racial discrimination targeting the USA.
Given his beliefs, Kennedy made a lot of enemies, but some good friends as well. Anything related to social injustice was on his agenda. Human rights developed during his years as well, but he also established working and friendship relationships with people like Walter Reuther, Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. There are all kinds of rumors regarding these relationships though. Some say that Kennedy did not always get along with these people. However, the fact that they shared common visions and points of view helped them worked together in order to change mindsets and perceptions throughout the USA.
Robert Francis Kennedy decided to follow his brother and make an impact from the White House, so he became the main candidate of the democrats for presidency. He gained notoriety overnight, especially as he already had a good reputation. He was seen as a potential winner by pretty much everyone, mostly because he appealed to the poor, as well as young voters and those coming from minority communities- such as Hispanics and African Americans. He was competing against Eugene McCarthy, who was a popular senator at that time, but way behind Kennedy in statistics and polls. Practically, Kennedy had the first chance.
Soon after succeeding in the California primary, he was murdered by Sirhan Sirhan around midnight. He was walking through the pantry of a hotel. The 24 year old Palestinian retaliated for Kennedy’s support for Israel during the Six Day War. Kennedy did not die straight away, but he passed away the next morning. Before going unconscious, he asked if everyone is alright and asked the paramedics not to lift him. Despite intensive neurosurgery to remove the bullet and bone fragments, he could not be saved. Sirhan was immediately arrested and ended up convicted. He got a life sentence, but he was stabbed a few years ago in prison. He survived the attack.
There are many theories regarding Robert Francis Kennedy’s assassination. The attacker does not remember the attack, so some specialists agree that he was hypnotized to kill Kennedy. Then, there are witness reports that mention more people running away and cheering about the assassination, which suggests that there were more people involved in the plot. Furthermore, witnesses agree that Sirhan was actually standing a few feet in front of Kennedy, while the bullet went into his head from behind the right ear. Each conspiracy theory has a bit of evidence behind it, but nothing is perfectly clear to suggest a different scenario.