Robert F. Kennedy

(1925 - 1968)

Robert F. Kennedy, like his older brother John and his younger brother Ted, was a senator who ran for president—one who became far more famous for the impediments to his success than his career highlights. He served as an attorney general during his brother’s presidential administration and was in the room during deliberations over the Cuban Missile Crisis and the civil rights movement. He gave a presidential campaign speech in Indianapolis the day after Martin Luther King Jr. died; when he announced the news, the crowd gasped. He went on to speak about anger and this difficult day, misquoting the Greek father of tragedy: “My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: ‘In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.’ ” Two months later, Kennedy was assassinated in the hallway of a hotel in Los Angeles.

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