Posts tagged RFk
Posts tagged RFk
Remembering Michael Kennedy (1958-1997)
In his memoir ‘True Compass’ Ted Kennedy mentioned a moment when he was sitting next to Bobby and Ethel’s fourth son in the car and when he looked to him the shadow just fell over his face and for one second he thought it was Bobby..
Bobby and Ethel: Unconditional love..
(I got these photos from the amazing Ethel Kennedy documentary that can finally be watched on the internet)
Young Bobby Kennedy
Fifty years ago, U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy went for a walk — a 50-mile walk, to be exact — trudging through snow and slush from just outside Washington, D.C., all the way to Harper’s Ferry, W.Va.
He had no preparation, and no training. And in spite of temperatures well below freezing, he wore Oxford loafers on his feet.
In honor of the 50th anniversary, the Kennedy March is being reprised by a group of walking enthusiasts this weekend. Ray Smith, one of the walk’s organizers, says, “I think it’s our little way of trying to respect that legacy that the Kennedys left us.”
No Laughing Matter
The impetus for Kennedy’s strange and incredible feat was a challenge issued by his brother, John — then president of the United States. The Kennedys were notoriously athletic, and JFK in particular was concerned about the decline in American “vigor.”
The White House had discovered a 1908 executive order from another fitness fanatic — President Theodore Roosevelt — who had said that all Marines should be able to hike 50 miles in three days. President Kennedy agreed, and reissued the challenge to the Marines of his own time. Not to be outdone by his predecessor, the president asked that his Marines complete the 50 miles in just one day, joking that perhaps his staff should take on the challenge as well. For his brother Robert, though, it was no joke.
“Bobby told me just as I was leaving the office, ‘I’m going to see you tomorrow at 5 in the morning,’ ” recalls James Symington, who was Robert Kennedy’s administrative assistant at the time. He laughs as he remembers Kennedy’s determination.
“I said, ‘Why would you want to do that?’ Bobby had no — [never] had any sense — that there was anything he couldn’t do,” he says.
Keep On Walking
So Kennedy set out, along with four of his colleagues and his dog, Brumis — a Newfoundland weighing more than 100 pounds. Symington joined him, with Brumis jumping on him playfully, several times knocking him into the canal that they were walking along.”He wasn’t trying to kill me, but he damn near did,” Symington says, laughing.
After 25 miles, the group was ready to give up. But the press had caught wind of what Kennedy was doing, and a helicopter arrived soon after with photographers and journalists. So Kennedy set off again, this time accompanied by just two of his aides. The last of them left him around 35 miles in. Kennedy is rumored to have said to him, “You’re lucky your brother isn’t president of the United States.”
The so-called Kennedy March earned a lot of media attention and sparked a nationwide obsession with extreme walking and hiking. Ordinary people from around the country took on the challenge, and for a brief moment, Americans got serious about physical fitness.
The fad of the 50-mile walk was short-lived, however, and more grave concerns soon overtook the American people. The Kennedy March was replaced by the March on Washington, and the extraordinary feat performed by Robert F. Kennedy was quickly forgotten.
Ethel Kennedy at home in Palm Beach with her daughter Rory Kennedy, a documentarian, and her grandchildren Zachary, four; Georgia, nine; and Bridget, seven.
Rory’s children are three of Ethel’s 35 grandchildren.
Portraits of her famous clan line the walls of Ethel’s living room
For anyone suffering Kennedy fatigue, think again. Ethel, a documentary about Bobby Kennedy’s 84-year-old widow made by her eleventh and youngest child, Rory, (who was born after her father’s death) is a grand surprise. What may be lost in objective distance is amply compensated for by the laugh riot of Ethel’s escapades recounted by her children, and illustrated with a treasure trove of archival photographs and family movies. Ethel, who hasn’t given an interview for 35 years, talks bluntly to her daughter about her experiences, beliefs, and times of unspeakable grief, before gamely moving on. Megan O’Grady interviews mother and daughter in Vogue’s July issue. Ethel airs on October 18 at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.
Photographed by Bruce Weber
Joseph Patrick Kennedy, III (31), first of the new generation of his famous family to seek elected office.
A rare photo of a casual RFK and formally dressed JFK.
Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter has nabbed her first big acting break: Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy has scored a role in Aaron ‘The West Wing’ Sorkin’s HBO pilot. The Newsroom, a show about cable news, also stars such boldface names as Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn, and Dev Patel. Of course, Hollywood is nothing new for the Kennedy clan: Kathleen’s great-grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy, formed one of the Big Five studios.
Best-selling author Jerry Oppenheimer is writing the first biography of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. following the tragic death of his wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, last month. Oppenheimer — who’s written tell-alls on Hillary and Bill Clinton, Anna Wintour and Barbara Walters, and who released a biography of RFK Jr.’s mother, Ethel Kennedy, in 1994 — has signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press. He tells us of Bobby: “He had none of the movie-star looks of his glamorous cousin [John Kennedy Jr.], but he had a far more dramatic, far more successful, far more controversial and far more scandalous life.” He added: “I want to make it clear I am not out to do a hit job on this guy. Bobby was in his teens when he lost his father. He was so wild, his mother basically kicked him out of the house … he’s had a difficult life. This is a man who is driven by a lot of passion and also driven by demons, it is really a cautionary tale. He is a sympathetic guy, but he is also driven and ambitious and — what we know now about his relationships with women — rather reckless.”
An American Prince: Bobby Kennedy Jr.
Robert F Kennedy feared his children would be blinded by the mafia in an acid attack as revenge attack for investigating them, his widow has revealed.
Speaking out for the first time in 30 years, Ethel Kennedy said that her late husband was anxious they would be targeted as retaliation for his probe into mafia racketeering.
He saw a report about an American journalist who had been blinded in an acid attack by the mob and feared they would do the same to him.
The disclosure will add to conspiracy theories that the mafia may have been responsible for Kennedy’s death.
He was shot dead by Sirhan Sirhan in 1968 but speculation has raged that his crusade against the mob whilst serving as U.S. Attorney General may have be the root of his demise.
Mrs Kennedy, 83, said that her husband was scared after New York Post journalist Victor Riesel was blinded in an acid attack because of articles he had written about the mob.
‘We were told they were going to do the same with our children,’ she said.
Eldest daughter Kathleen, one of several siblings also interviewed in the film, recalls, “We couldn’t leave [school] with the other kids at the end of the day. We had to wait in the principal’s office to be picked up.’’
The documentary “Ethel,’’ which will play on HBO later this year, offers an extraordinary look into the private lives of a celebrated family that was at the center of some of the most famous events, triumphant and tragic, of the 20th century.
Asked about her husband’s 1968 assassination, Ethel says to her filmmaker daughter: “When we lost Daddy …” then stops, pain written on her face.
The family credits devout Roman Catholic faith with getting them through almost unendurable losses. Following the assassinations of her brother-in-law, President John F. Kennedy, in 1963, and her husband, Ethel later lost two of her 11 children — one from a drug overdose and the other in a skiing accident.
“I wake up every morning and I think of Daddy [Robert] up there with Jack and [their older brother] Joe and my parents,’’ Ethel tells her daughter Rory, the youngest of her and Bobby Kennedy’s 11 children. A noted documentary filmmaker, Rory was born six months after her father was fatally shot after winning the California Democratic presidential primary.
“When the rest of the world was grieving,’’ her mother told the children their father was in a wonderful place, says Kathleen Kennedy. “Her faith is so strong — that’s caused her to get through everything [including] losing [sons] Michael and David.’’
As Ethel puts it: “Nobody gets a free ride. “You have your wits about you and dig in because it might not last.’’
When JFK appointed his brother as attorney general, his outspoken sister-in-law quickly emerged as one of the more colorful members of the extended Kennedy clan.
At one point, she was charged with horse theft — then a hanging offense in Virginia, where the family lived on a farm — after she rescued a neighbor’s maltreated horses.
Ethel was acquitted, but JFK asked her to tone down her famous parties — after press reports of a soiree where “all the members of his cabinet were thrown in the pool,’’ Ethel’s son Joseph Kennedy recalls.
After JFK was assassinated, Ethel says, “It was like Daddy lost both arms. It was just six months of blackness.’’
The documentary includes extensive home-movie footage of the family that’s never been shown publicly — including a striking image of a stricken Bobby Kennedy sitting in quiet contemplation on the side of a road.
According to Ethel, it was very difficult for her husband to seek office for the first time, successfully capturing a US Senate seat in New York in 1964.
“Whereas Jack was a born orator, nothing came naturally to Daddy, he had to struggle for everything,’’ she says.
Rory Kennedy says HBO, where she’s made films about AIDS and human rights issues for more than a decade, had long urged her to do a film about her family, but she resisted.
“It’s not in my comfort zone, and I assumed my mother wouldn’t want to do it,’’ Rory tells The Post. “But she sat down with me for five days and answered every question in the book.’’
One of her favorite stories is that when Robert was attorney general, Ethel would take the older kids to watch sharpshooters in the basement of the FBI building (the bureau fell under Robert Kennedy’s jurisdiction).
Kathleen says in the documentary, “One day she noticed a suggestion box. She took out her signature red pen, wrote, ‘Get a new director’ and put it in the box.’’
Rory Kennedy — who will be joined by her mother and about 25 other family members for the premiere in Park City, Utah — adds that longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, no fan of his nominal boss Robert Kennedy, quickly discovered what happened.
“By the time [Mom] got to my father’s office with all the kids, Daddy had already gotten the note from an irate Hoover,’’ she says.