Robert F. Kennedy (1925–1968), the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated during his 1968 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. Robert Kennedy began his political career working on JFK’s 1952 Senate campaign. He also managed JFK’s successful 1960 presidential campaign and in 1961 was appointed US attorney general. In that position, RFK was often an ally of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1961, he sent federal marshals to protect Freedom Riders in Alabama, and he successfully advocated for the end of segregation on interstate transportation. During his brother’s presidency, RFK served as a trusted adviser to JFK. He helped navigate the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. In 1964, just a year after JFK’s assassination, RFK successfully ran for a seat in the US Senate. As a senator, he was critical of US involvement in Vietnam and became increasingly focused on the problems of racism and poverty. In March 1968, following the disastrous Tet Offensive in Vietnam and Eugene McCarthy’s challenge to Lyndon B. Johnson for the Democratic presidential nomination, Kennedy announced his own candidacy for the Democratic ticket. Over the next several months, RFK took the lead in the Democratic race and won five of six presidential primaries. Just after midnight on June 5, 1968, a few hours after his success in the California primary, RFK was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian immigrant.

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