Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, the third son of Joseph Kennedy, he was educated at Harvard and University of Virginia Law School and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1951. As Chief Counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities (1957-59), he prosecuted David Bech and Jimmy Hoffa of the Teamster's Union, who were charged with corruption. He was an efficient manager of his brother John F Kennedy's presidential campaign, and was an energetic Attorney-General (1961-64) under the latter's administration, notable in his efforts to promote civil rights. He resigned after President Kennedy's assassination, and was elected Senator from New York in 1965. After much hesitation he declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968, quickly winning as an idealist reformer. On 5 June 1968, after winning the California primary election, he was shot by a Jordanian immigrant, Sirhan Sirhan, and died the following day.