Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

LOS ANGELES – OCT 24: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at the “LBJ” World Premiere at the ArcLight Theatre on October 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA, kathclick/

Birth Name: Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr.

Place of Birth: Washington, D.C., U.S.

Date of Birth: January 17, 1954

Ethnicity: Irish (at least three quarters), along with English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Dutch, Scottish

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., or RFK, Jr., is an American environmental lawyer, adjunct professor of environmental law, author, radio host, and conspiracy theorist. He has been a member of environmental organizations Riverkeeper and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and has founded environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance. He also founded Pace University Law School’s Environmental Litigation Clinic, of which he was supervising attorney and co-director. He created anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense.

He is an independent candidate for President of the United States in 2024.

He was previously a candidate for the Democratic Party’s 2024 nomination for President.

Robert is one of eleven children of Ethel (Skakel), a human rights campaigner, and Robert F. Kennedy, known as RFK, who was an attorney and politician, and served as U.S. Attorney General, from January 20, 1961 to September 3, 1964, and a U.S. Senator from New York, from January 3, 1965 to June 6, 1968, when he was assassinated, during his presidential campaign. His uncles (his father’s brothers) were John F. Kennedy, who was President of the United States, from January 20, 1961 to November 22, 1963, and Ted Kennedy, both of whom were also politicians; and his aunt (father’s sister) was activist and humanitarian Jean Kennedy Smith, who was Ambassador to Ireland, from June 24, 1993 to September 17, 1998. His brother was lawyer, businessperson, and political activist Michael LeMoyne Kennedy; Michael was married to Victoria, the daughter of professional football player and commentator Frank Gifford, until Michael’s death, and the couple had three children. Robert’s sister, Kerry Kennedy, is a human rights activist and writer, who was previously married to politician Andrew Cuomo, with whom she has three children. His nephew is politician Joe Kennedy III. His first cousins are/were journalist, activist, and writer Maria Shriver and journalist John F. Kennedy, Jr., and his first cousins, once removed, are author Katherine Schwarzenegger, designer and author Jack Schlossberg, and actor, model, and entrepreneur Patrick Schwarzenegger.

Robert was raised in the Washington, D.C. area, and Massachusetts. He is married to actress Cheryl Hines. He has two children with his former wife Emily Ruth Black; and four children with his former wife, late interior designer, architect, and philanthropist Mary Richardson Kennedy. He is the first member of the Kennedy family to have run for President of the United States since 1980.

Robert’s paternal grandfather was Joseph Patrick “Joe” Kennedy (the son of P. J. Kennedy, Patrick Joseph Kennedy, and of Mary Augusta Hickey). Robert’s grandfather Joseph was born in East Boston, now Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, and was a businessperson, investor, and politician. Robert’s great-grandfather P. J. was a businessperson and politician, who was the son of Patrick Kennedy and Bridget Murphy, who were from Dunganstown, County Wexford, Ireland. Robert’s great-grandmother Mary was the daughter of James Hickey, who was from Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare, Ireland, and of Margaret Martha Field, who was from Rosscarbery, County Cork, Ireland.

Robert’s paternal grandmother was Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald (the daughter of John Francis “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald and Mary Josephine “Josie” Hannon). Rose was born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, and was a philanthropist and socialite. Robert’s great-grandfather John was born in Massachusetts, and was a Democratic politician, who served as Mayor of Boston, from January 1, 1906 to January 6, 1908, and again, from February 7, 1910 to February 2, 1914; and as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, from March 4, 1895 to March 3, 1901, and again, from March 4, 1919 to October 23, 1919; he was the son of Thomas Fitzgerald and Rosanna Cox, who were born in Co. Limerick, Ireland. Robert’s great-grandmother Mary Josephine was the daughter of Michael Hannon, who was born in Lough Gur, Ireland, and of Mary Ann Fitzgerald, who was from Bruff, Limerick, Ireland.

Robert’s maternal grandfather was George Jordan Skakel (the son of James Curtis Skakel and Grace Mary Jordan). George was born in Illinois, and was a prominent businessperson, who founded the Great Lakes Carbon Corporation. James was born in Canada or Vermont, the son of parents from Vermont, George Skakel and Sarah Sawyer. Grace was born in Mississippi, the daughter of German Nicholas/M. Jordan and Sarah Virginia Hendricks.

Robert’s maternal grandmother was Ann Brannack (the daughter of James Brannack and Margaret/Maggie Hughes). Ann was born in Illinois. Joseph was born in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Henry Brannack. Margaret was born in England, to a father born in Ireland, George Hughes, and a mother born in England.

Sources: Genealogies of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. –

Genealogy of Robert’s father –

Genealogy of Robert’s father (through his own brother, John F. Kennedy) –

Robert’s paternal grandmother, Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald, on the 1900 U.S. Census –
Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Notes on the ancestry of Robert’s paternal grandmother, Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald –

Genealogies of Robert’s maternal grandparents, George Jordan Skakel and Ann (Brannack) Skakel –

Robert’s maternal grandfather, George Jordan Skakel, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Robert’s maternal great-grandparents, James Brannack and Margaret/Maggie Hughes, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

1 Response

  1. andrew says:

    The “Skakel” line is a bit of mistery. It’s said to be “Dutch” Protestant, but who knows the original surname. Hendricks line is Dutch anyway, and there are Scottish ancestors too:

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