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Younger brother and close associate of John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy trained as a lawyer, and entered politics as a legal advisor for Senate committees, where he liaised with Senator Joseph McCarthy, and also investigated the illegal activities of Jimmy Hoffa, the Teamsters' Union leader.
In 1960 he managed JFK's successful presidential campaign. Appointed US attorney general in 1961, he became a key player in his brother's administration.
He vigorously pursued a campaign against organised crime and championed the civil rights movement.
In 1968 he began to run for president, and had just won the California primary when he was shot on 5 June while celebrating his victory in a hotel in Los Angeles. He died the next day.
This second Kennedy death at the hands of a gunman increased the sense of tragedy associated with America's foremost political family.