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Ethel Kennedy

Political Relative

Born: 11 April 1928
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Best known as: The wife of Senator Robert F. Kennedy

Name at birth: Ethel Skakel

Ethel Skakel married future senator Robert F. Kennedy on 17 June 1950. (She had roomed with RFK's sister Jean Kennedy at the Manhattan College of the Sacred Heart.) As Ethel Kennedy became a well-known member of the Kennedy clan, particularly after Robert became Attorney General under his brother, John F. Kennedy, and then a senator from New York. Ethel and Robert had eleven children in all. Ethel Kennedy was widowed in 1968 when her husband was shot to death by Sirhan Sirhan while Robert Kennedy was campaigning for president. After her husband's death Ethel Kennedy founded the RFK Memorial organization, a non-profit group devoted to social activism and human rights. Her name was in the news in 2002 when a nephew, Michael Skakel, went on trial for and was convicted of the 1975 killing of Martha Moxley. Michael Skakel is the son of Ethel Kennedy's brother Rushton Skakel.

Extra credit: Ethel Kennedy's son Michael Kennedy died in a 1997 skiing accident... Another son, David, died of a drug overdose in 1984... Her daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, is the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland... When her husband was killed, Ethel Kennedy was pregnant with their eleventh child, Rory. (Ethel's nephew John Kennedy Jr. was killed in a 1999 plane crash while flying to attend Rory's wedding)... Robert Kennedy was assassinated five years after the death of John Kennedy and just two months after the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

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More on Ethel Kennedy from Infoplease:

  • Ethel Kennedy - Biography of Ethel Kennedy, The wife of Senator Robert F. Kennedy
  • Michael Kennedy - Biography of Michael Kennedy, The Kennedy who died while skiing
  • Michael Kennedy - Michael Kennedy head of the nonprofit Citizens Energy Corp. Born: 1958 The son of Robert and Ethel ...
  • Michael Skakel, - Michael Skakel, nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was found guilty in June by a Connecticut jury of the 1975 ...
  • Michael Skakel - Biography of Michael Skakel, The Kennedy relative convicted of killing Martha Moxley
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