- Ethel Skakel Kennedy
image_size = 150px
name = Ethel Skakel Kennedy
birth_date = birth date and age|mf=yes|1928|4|11
Robert F. Kennedy(1950 - 1968; his death)
children = 11 (9 living; 2 deceased)
Ethel Skakel Kennedy (born April 11, 1928) is the widow of late Sen. and former Attorney General
Robert F. Kennedy.
Chicago, Illinoisto Ann Brannack, a Roman Catholic, and George Skakel, a Protestant, Ethel was raised Catholic in Greenwich, Connecticut. Her father was the founder of the very successful Great Lakes Carbon Corporation. [http://www.glcarbon.com/] She attended the all-girls Greenwich Academy[ [http://www.greenwichacademy.org Welcome to Greenwich Academy ] ] [http://www.marthamoxley.com/news/072499gt.htm] in Greenwich, as well as the Convent of the Sacred Heart in the Bronx. In September 1945, Ethel began her collegiate education at Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart (then located in Manhattan), where she met Jean Kennedy, sister of her soon-to-be husband, Robert F. Kennedy, and the two became friends and roommates.
Marriage to Robert F. Kennedy (1950–1968)
Robert F. Kennedy(Bobby) during a skiing trip to Mont Tremblant Resortin Quebec, Canada during the winter of 1945. At the time, Robert was dating Ethel's sister, Patricia. Eventually that relationship ended and Ethel and Bobby started seeing each other. Ethel campaigned for Bobby's brother, John F. Kennedy, in his 1946 campaign for United States Congress, and wrote her college thesis on his book " Why England Slept".
Bobby and Ethel became engaged in February 1950, and were married on June 17, 1950 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenwich. Ethel's wedding dress and bridal party gowns were created by noted
New York Cityfashion designer Mamie Conti. As newlyweds, Ethel and Bobby moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, where they lived while Bobby finished his last year at the University of Virginia Law School. Their first child, Kathleen, was born on July 4, 1951. After Bobby graduated with his law degree, the family settled in the Washington, D.C.area and Bobby went to work for the Department of Justice. However, that path did not last long as Bobby was asked by his family to manage John F. Kennedy's 1952 successful Senate campaign in Massachusetts.
Throughout the 1950s, Robert Kennedy worked for the federal government in investigatory roles for the
Senate Subcommittee on Investigationswith the notoriously anti-Communist Senator Joe McCarthyand as chief counsel for the Senate Democrats. In 1956, the Kennedys purchased Hickory Hill from Bobby's brother John and his wife, Jackie. They needed a larger house, since Ethel was pregnant with their fifth child. This enormous 13 bedroom, 13 bath home was situated on six acres in McLean, Virginia.
In contrast to John and Jackie Kennedy, Robert and Ethel held many get-togethers at their home. Whether it was a pool party or a formal dinner party, the guest list was impressive and eclectic. Journalist
Roger Muddremembers meeting John Lennonat one such party. Other notable invitees included the Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, entertainer Judy Garland, dancer Rudolf Nureyevand historian Arthur Schlesinger, who found himself thrown into the pool fully clothed where Ethel was also already swimming fully clothed. [http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2003/10/21/shock_over_plan_to_sell_rfk_home/ `Shock' over plan to sell RFK home - The Boston Globe ] ] .
The 11 Kennedy children added to the wild atmosphere at Hickory Hill. Notoriously, Robert Jr. had a zoo in the basement. It was not unusual to see reptiles, a seal, an anteater, miniature ponies and even an elephant on the grounds Evan Thomas, "Robert Kennedy: A Life" ] . Jackie found the children so wild that she did not allow Caroline and John Jr. to play with their cousins.
RFK assassination (1968)
Just after midnight on June 5, 1968, her husband was shot by
Sirhan Sirhan. He died 26 hours later. Ethel and her children were devastated. President Lyndon Johnsondeclared a day of mourning. In 1969, Sirhan was convicted of Robert Kennedy's murder and sentenced to death. In 1972, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after the California Supreme Court invalidated that state's death penalty as it existed at that time.
Life after the assassination (1968–present)
Frequently throughout the 1970s, Ethel was escorted to dinners, parties and the theater by singer
Andy Williams, a family friend. However, she never engaged in any romantic relationships with another man following her husband's death. Citing her Catholicism, she had said she would never marry again.
In October 2003, the
Boston Globereported that Ethel was selling the legendary residence for $25 million [ [http://www.sothebysrealty.com/PropertyDetails.aspx?R=4100000037&N=12+4294967274+4294966953&No=-1&PSeq=0 Sotheby's International Realty | Find a House, Home and Luxury Real Estate Property | ] ] . By 2008, still unsold, the asking price has been cut in half to $12.5 million, with the understanding that the historic mansion (which served as headquarters to Union General George B. McClellanin the Civil War) is in need of a multi-million dollar renovation.
As of 2007, Ethel continues to live at the
Kennedy Compoundin Hyannisport.
During the 2008 presidential election she endorsed Illinois Senator
Barack Obama[cite web |title=Ethel Kennedy Endorses Barack Obama |url=http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/samgrahamfelsen/CGBjb |publisher=Barackobama.com |date=2008-02-02 |accessdate=2008-02-02] (as did her children Max and Rory, though another three, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.and Kerry Kennedy, at first publicly endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton, in mid-2007). In her official statement, she compared Obama with her late husband, saying:
"Barack is so like Bobby...With courage, caring, and charisma, Senator Obama is leading us toward a kinder, gentler world."
Children of Robert and Ethel Kennedy
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/rfk/peopleevents/e_hickoryhill.html "American Experience": RFK People & Events] -- From PBS
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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