As Robert F Kennedy Jr. announces his run for the US presidency, a look at his other political family figures

With Robert F Kennedy Jr.’s announcement he’s running as an independent presidential hopeful, how much history has he eschewed from his family?
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Robert F Kennedy Jr., the nephew of the late US President John F Kennedy, has announced he will not run against current POTUS Joe Biden in the upcoming Democratic presidential candidate race and instead will run as an independent.

“I’m here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States,” Kennedy announced to a crowd of supporters at Independence Mall in Philadelphia. “We declare independence from the cynical elites who betray our hope and who amplify our divisions. And finally, we declare independence from the two political parties.”

The politician, who transitioned from an environmental justice lawyer, has consistently voiced his dissatisfaction with the primary process during interviews. His campaign manager, former Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, recently called for a more competitive primary in a letter addressed to the Democratic National Committee. Furthermore, the Super PAC that supported Kennedy took its frustration to the streets, staging a protest outside a recent DNC meeting in Washington to convey its discontent.

It marks the end, for now at least, of a Kennedy being involved with the Democrats, with the dynasty having a long association with the political party, which saw JFK assume the highest position in the land becoming the 35th President of the United States.  

That’s led to some members of the Kennedy family releasing a joint statement in response calling his announcement “deeply saddening” and “perilous for our country. A statement from family members Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy II and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend read: “Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment,” 

His children however have been supportive of his bid, and his daughter-in-law, Amaryllis Fox, is a co-manager of his campaign.

What Kennedy’s is Robert F Kennedy Jr. related to, and how?

John F. Kennedy (uncle)

Senator John F Kennedy seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidential elections, which he went on to win.   (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)Senator John F Kennedy seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidential elections, which he went on to win.   (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Senator John F Kennedy seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidential elections, which he went on to win. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s uncle, John F. Kennedy, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. JFK's presidency was marked by several significant events, including the Cuban Missile Crisis and the establishment of the Peace Corps.

Robert F. Kennedy (father)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s father, Robert F. Kennedy, served as the United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964 under his brother JFK. RFK later ran for the Democratic nomination for President in 1968 but was tragically assassinated during his campaign in Los Angeles.

Edward M. Kennedy (Ted Kennedy - uncle)

US Senator Ted Kennedy (right) with former British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan (1894 - 1986) during a visit to London, 29th May 1964. (Photo by Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)US Senator Ted Kennedy (right) with former British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan (1894 - 1986) during a visit to London, 29th May 1964. (Photo by Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
US Senator Ted Kennedy (right) with former British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan (1894 - 1986) during a visit to London, 29th May 1964. (Photo by Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s uncle, Ted Kennedy, was a United States Senator from Massachusetts, serving from 1962 until his death in 2009. Ted Kennedy had a long and influential career in the Senate and was often referred to as the "Lion of the Senate" due to his legislative achievements.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver (aunt)

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, another of RFK Jr.'s aunts, was a champion of disability rights and founded the Special Olympics in 1968, an organization that has had a profound impact on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide.

Robert Sargent Shriver (uncle by marriage)

Robert Sargent Shriver, Eunice Kennedy Shriver's husband and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s uncle by marriage, served as the first director of the Peace Corps and as the United States Ambassador to France.

Caroline Kennedy (cousin)

Caroline Kennedy, RFK Jr.'s cousin, served as the United States Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017. She served as the United States Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017 during the administration of President Barack Obama. Her appointment as ambassador was notable for her role in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations during her tenure.

Joseph P. Kennedy II (cousin)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (R, 1917-63) and his brother Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr  (L,1915-44), surround their father Joseph on July 2, 1938 in Southampton on the deck of French "Normandy" cruiser liner after their arrival from the US. 09 November 1960,  (Photo by -/FRANCE PRESSE VOIR/AFP via Getty Images)John Fitzgerald Kennedy (R, 1917-63) and his brother Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr  (L,1915-44), surround their father Joseph on July 2, 1938 in Southampton on the deck of French "Normandy" cruiser liner after their arrival from the US. 09 November 1960,  (Photo by -/FRANCE PRESSE VOIR/AFP via Getty Images)
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (R, 1917-63) and his brother Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr (L,1915-44), surround their father Joseph on July 2, 1938 in Southampton on the deck of French "Normandy" cruiser liner after their arrival from the US. 09 November 1960, (Photo by -/FRANCE PRESSE VOIR/AFP via Getty Images)

Joseph P. Kennedy II, another of RFK Jr.'s cousins, served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts from 1987 to 1999. He served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts from 1987 to 1999. During his time in Congress, Joseph P. Kennedy II was known for his work on various issues, including healthcare and consumer protection.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (cousin)

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, another cousin, served as the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003. She was the first woman to hold that office in Maryland's history. Additionally, she has been involved in various public policy initiatives and has been an advocate for social and environmental causes.

Maria Shriver (cousin by marriage)

RFK Jr.'s cousin by marriage, Maria Shriver is a journalist, author, and former First Lady of California, having been married to Arnold Schwarzenegger during his tenure as Governor of California. During her time as California's First Lady, Maria Shriver was actively involved in various charitable and social causes. She founded the California Women's Conference, an annual event aimed at empowering women.

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