Guest Author - Carol Taller
Ethel Skakel Kennedy was born on April 11, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois. She is best known from her marriage to the late Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General of the United States and a United States Senator for the state of New York.
Ethelís mother Anne Brannack Skakel was Roman Catholic and her father George Skakel was Protestant. Her father worked at a railroad clerk at eight dollars a week. Along with several of his coworkers he built up a coal and coke company which led to the familyís new found wealth.
When Ethel was five the family moved east and settled in Greenwich, Connecticut. Ethel grew up with six siblings and was fortunate to be able to afford the best of everything she wanted.
She attended Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart and became friends with classmate Jean Kennedy of Massachusetts. It was through this friendship that she met her future husband, Robert F. Kennedy.
Ethel and Robert were engaged in June of 1949 and married on June 17 that same year. They moved to Virginia until Robert finished law school, and then moved to Washington D.C. They had their first child shortly after and their family continued to grow rapidly.
In 1955 both of Ethelís parents were killed in their private plane. Despite her grief, she committed herself even more to her growing family and support of the Kennedy family careers.
When Robertís brother John F. Kennedy won the election for President of the United States Robert was appointed to the cabinet as the attorney general. And when John was assassinated in 1963 Ethel assisted her husband as he ran for the US Senate. She sparkled in the limelight and helped gain support for her husband.
Robert was determined to win the 1969 presidential election. Unfortunately, the Kennedy luck followed him and he too was shot and killed. Ethel was three months pregnant with her eleventh child at the time. She was devastated and claimed no intentions to ever marry again.
While raising her family Ethel continued to live a charitable life. She founded the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center and co-chaired Gun Control with Coretta Scott King as well as other charities.
Ethel remained a devout Roman Catholic and attended church on a daily basis.