Robert Francis Kennedy was born in 1925. He was the third son of Joseph Kennedy, the patriarch of the very powerful Kennedy family. His older brother, John Fitzgerald Kennedy served as the 35th President of the United States. Robert “Bobby” Kennedy served in his brother’s administration as the United States Attorney General. After John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Robert resigned from office and moved into an apartment at the United Nations Plaza in Manhattan. Although he was accused of being a “carpetbagger,” Kennedy mounted a successful campaign for the United States Senate in 1964. After speaking out against the escalating war in Vietnam, he ran for president in 1968. He was assassinated on June 6, 1968 while campaigning in Los Angeles. This sculpture was relocated and placed in a picturesque surrounding as a result of renovations to Columbus Park, completed in 1994.
This bronze bust, located near the footsteps of the Supreme Court of King’s County in Brooklyn’s Columbus Park, represents Attorney General, United States Senator, and Presidential candidate Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968). The piece was sculpted by artist Anneta Duveen and dedicated in 1972. It features a polished granite pedestal with four quotes from Kennedy inscribed on the base as a means to inspire community action, whether it be at the local, national, or global level.
The quotes are:
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
“What we require is not the self-indulgence of resignation from the world but the hard effort to work out new ways of fulfilling our personal concern and our personal responsibility.”
“We must get our own house in order. We must because it is right. We must because it is might.”
“All great questions be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice of the people – speaking out – in prose, or painting, or poetry, or music; speaking out – in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes – let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind.”