Robert Francis Kennedy was the younger brother of former President John F. Kennedy. Like many members of his family, Robert entered the political arena, eventually attaining the position of United States Attorney General and later Senator of New York.
Following the assassination of JFK, Lyndon B. Johnson became President. When his term was coming to an end, Johnson opted to run for the top office for a new term, but was nearly beaten during the New Hampshire primary election by Eugene McCarthy. This helped prompt Robert Kennedy to mount his own campaign, and in 1968 he too beat McCarthy, this time during the California primary election. Many thought he would follow his brother to the White House, but the Senator’s life was tragically cut short the very next day.
On June 5, 1968, Kennedy gave a victory speech from a ballroom in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. He spoke about winning the primary, and his developing presidential campaign. Following the event, Kennedy was leaving the hotel and was given the suggestion that he could make a faster exit through the kitchen. He had been warned by his own FBI bodyguard Bill Barry that the kitchen was not a safe area, and it would be difficult to protect him there, but he opted for that route anyway. As he entered the room, a 24-year-old Palestinian man named Sirhan Sirhan pointed a .22 caliber revolver and fired shots at the Senator. Kennedy was hit in the head, and immediately taken to The Good Samaritan Hospital. Despite their efforts, doctors were unable to save him, and Kennedy was pronounced dead the following morning.
Following the murder, Sirhan was arrested and sent to trial. His original sentence was for the gas chamber, but it was later reduced to life in prison. The body of Robert F. Kennedy is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, close to his brother.
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