Who is Robert F. Kennedy Jr.? Flash Uganda Media looks at his biography, age, wife, family, tribe, achievements, and relationship with Waterkeeper Alliance, Ethel and Robert F. Kennedy, Emily Ruth Black, Robert, Kathleen, Mary Richardson, Conor, Kyra, William, Aiden, Cheryl Hines, and the early life and education of an environmental attorney, activist, author and a 2024 Presidential Candidate.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. also known as Robert Francis Kennedy or Bobby is an environmental attorney, activist, author and a 2024 Presidential Candidate.
He is a co-founder and past president of Waterkeeper Alliance, an environmental protection organization dedicated to water resource preservation and conservation.
Kennedy Jr. also worked as a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council in addition to writing on environmental problems for several publications.
Early Life and Education
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. on January 17, 1954.
He is one of 11 children born to Ethel and Robert F. Kennedy, a former New York Democratic senator and US Attorney General who was assassinated in 1968.
Kennedy Jr. was raised to appreciate a solid education and political activity. He is the nephew of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy and former U.S. senator Ted Kennedy.
Kennedy attended the London School of Economics and Harvard University after graduating from Millbrook Academy in Gloucestershire, England, and received a bachelor’s degree in American history and literature in 1976.
He eventually earned a law doctorate from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in environmental law from Pace University.
In 1983, he worked as an assistant district attorney in New York and passed the written portion of his bar exam on his second attempt that summer.
After being busted for drug use at a South Dakota airport, he abandoned his promising legal career. He was charged with a felony and entered a guilty plea.
He began conducting community service for Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Hudson River, as part of his sentence.
After completing his 1,500 hours of community service, he was employed as the nonprofit’s top attorney after passing the final portion of the bar exam in 1985.
Kennedy was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder affecting the voice box that produces strained speech when he was in his 40s. In a 2007 interview, he stated that his ailment started as a moderate trembling and later progressed.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Family
In 1982, Kennedy married Emily Ruth Black, whom he met while attending law school at the University of Virginia.
The couple separated in March 1994 after having two children, Robert and Kathleen.
Kennedy married Mary Richardson in a ceremony on a ship on the Hudson River less than a month later. Conor, Kyra, William, and Aiden were their four children.
On May 12, 2010, Kennedy filed for divorce from Mary Richardson Kennedy, and she was arrested for drunk driving twice shortly after.
On May 16, 2012, Mary was discovered dead in her house, and it was later confirmed that she died of asphyxiation due to hanging. Their divorce had not yet been formalized when she died.
In 2010, Kennedy began dating actress Cheryl Hines. They met two years in a row thanks to Larry David, Hines’ co-star on Curb Your Enthusiasm, who introduced them.
Kennedy and Hines tied the knot on August 2, 2014. Hines has a daughter from a previous marriage.
Bobby Kennedy is the joyful father of seven children and grandfather to two grandchildren. He was named Father of the Year for his dedication to family, citizenship, charity, politeness, responsibility, and reverence.
Career and Professional Work Experience
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. began his legal career in 1985 as a young attorney with the environmental group RiverKeeper, fighting polluters, protecting safe drinking water for American families, and safeguarding fishing as a viable American vocation.
During his time there, he successfully sued hundreds of corrupt municipalities to get them to comply with the Clean Water Act.
He has won battles against corporate behemoths, such as a lawsuit against General Electric for toxic runoff from its corporate jet hangar and a court order requiring ExxonMobil to clean up tens of millions of gallons of spilt oil in Brooklyn, New York.
Tear of the Clouds LLC, which Kennedy co-founded with Chris Bartle and John Hoving in 1998, is a bottled water firm.
A year later, he assisted in the formation of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a global umbrella organization that assists local environmental organizations in protecting their various bodies of water.
In 2004, Kennedy co-hosted Ring of Fire, a syndicated US talk radio show focusing on American politics, alongside Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder.
Kennedy’s work in the mid-2000s was focused on campaigning for renewable energy development and urging residents to safeguard their local rivers.
For many years, he was the Natural Resources Defense Council’s senior attorney.
In 2016, he protested the Dakota Access Pipeline alongside thousands of concerned individuals and Native Americans from several tribes at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
He also condemned the use of militarized police against peaceful demonstrators.
After 33 years with Riverkeeper, Kennedy left as lead counsel and board member in 2017, citing a long journey from his home on the West Coast and other responsibilities.
Three years later, in November 2020, he resigned as president of the Waterkeeper Alliance “to devote himself, full-time, to other issues.”
He had been president of Waterkeeper Alliance since its inception in 1999, and during his tenure, the organization grew to encompass more than 350 groups in 48 countries.
Bobby launched EcoWatch, a major environmental news site, in October 2011.
He was also an editor of Indian Country Today, North America’s largest Indigenous newspaper.
Presidential Election in 2024
On April 6, 2023, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. submitted a statement of candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, hoping to carry on his family’s long tradition of public service.
Kennedy has made no secret of his political ambitions.
In a 2007 magazine interview with Oprah Winfrey, he stated that one of the reasons he had not yet run for government was because he was a parent, but that he was intrigued.
When asked if he would ever run for president, Kennedy replied, “If opportunities to run for office came up, I would probably do it.”
Kennedy has had a few run-ins with the law. He was caught as a teenager in Massachusetts for smoking marijuana and sentenced to 13 months probation.
Kennedy was also arrested in September 1983, at the age of 29, after experiencing an apparent drug overdose on a flight to Rapid City, South Dakota.
At the airport, authorities seized his bags and discovered “a small amount” of heroin—reportedly 183 milligrams. He soon entered a drug rehab centre in New Jersey.
Kennedy pleaded guilty to felony possession and was sentenced to two years’ probation, drug testing and treatment, and community service.
The charge was removed from his record not long after. He stated in a 2007 interview that he had been sober for 23 years.
Decades later, in 2001, he and several others, including Al Sharpton and Jacqueline Jackson, Jesse Jackson’s wife, were convicted of trespassing during a protest against US Navy bombing operations on Puerto Rico’s Vieques Island.
Kennedy was imprisoned for 30 days.
He was detained in 2019 at the United States Capitol during a climate change demonstration coordinated by actress Jane Fonda.
Achievements and Awards
Time dubbed him a “Hero for the Planet” in May 2010 for his efforts with Riverkeeper in restoring the Hudson River.
Kennedy’s environmental involvement also involves the publication of two books and countless essays on environmental topics.
Crimes Against Nature (2004), The Riverkeepers (1997), and Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr: A Biography (1977) are among Kennedy’s published books.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside magazine, the Village Voice, and a variety of other journals.
His award-winning writings have appeared in anthologies of the finest criminal writing, best political writing, and best science writing in America.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. shifted his focus to anti-vaccine advocacy, despite the fact that all of his children were vaccinated and he also received flu vaccinations on a yearly basis.
He is well-known for his divisive opinions on the relationship between immunizations and autism.
He has been outspoken about his opposition to the use of the preservative thimerosal in vaccines, believing that the government is concealing its harmful effects on children.
However, peer-reviewed research studies have shown no evidence that thimerosal-containing vaccinations cause harmful adverse effects.
Kennedy helped promote the film Trace Amounts, which supports his beliefs, in April 2015. The next year, he established Children’s Health Defense, an anti-vaccine organization formerly known as the World Mercury Project.
The group gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Meta suspended its accounts on Facebook and Instagram in August 2022 for breaking the networks’ misleading policies.
In February 2021, Kennedy’s personal Instagram account was banned. He has made and then apologized for, controversial statements linking vaccine adverse effects and mandates to the Holocaust and Nazi Germany throughout the years.
His words have been extensively denounced, notably by members of his own family.
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