50 Years Ago: The Assassination of RFK

A man seeking presidency ended up fighting for his life just five years after his brother, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated. This is a look back at the night of the shooting, and days and years following, the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in photos.

39 photos
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U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-New York, shakes hands with people in a crowd during his campaign for the Democratic party's presidential nomination in Philadelphia. Friends and family of the senator will host a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery on June 6, 2018, to honor him on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Robert F. Kennedy with sister, Pat Lawford, and her two daughters, Sydney (right) and Victoria, after a news conference at Los Angeles International Airport. Kennedy's week-long visit in Los Angeles includes meetings with Justice Department officials to discuss the fight against organized crime in a June 27, 1962, photo.
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Los Angeles Public Library
A crowd of 5,000 has gathered to hear Sen. Kennedy at the Watts Writers' Workshop on March 26, 1968. The creative workshop rose from the ashes of the 1965 Watts Riots. Kennedy proclaimed he wanted "violence and hatred replaced by jobs. I want bitterness replaced in this county."
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Los Angeles Public Library
Election rally for presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy on Olvera Street. Shirts of two people express their support.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Sen. Robert Kennedy speaks with his supporters for the Democratic presidential nomination in this March 26, 1968, photo. Kennedy spoke to a crowd of 5,000, who cheered loudly when the New York senator said he wanted "violence and hatred replaced by jobs. I want bitterness replaced in this country."
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Los Angeles Public Library
Loyola University student Bob Polkinghorn, left, and Mt. Saint Mary's College Benita Radigan wait for Senator Robert Kennedy to arrive at the Los Angeles International Airport in this March 25, 1968, photo. Both are avid fans of the Democratic senator.
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Los Angeles Public Library
A Spanish-language flyer advertises a rally for Senator Robert Kennedy, to be held at Main & Macy Streets, near Olvera Street. The quote by 19th Mexico President Benito Juarez translated into English is, “respect for the rights of others is peace.”
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Los Angeles Public Library
Senator Robert Kennedy greets supporters at Los Angeles International Airport during his campaign.
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Los Angeles Public Library
A glimpse of the crowd near the podium in the Ambassador Hotel ballroom. It appears that this was taken prior to Robert F. Kennedy's victory speech and subsequent assassination on June 5, 1968.
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AP
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy rallies campaign workers in Los Angeles, just minutes before he was shot, on June 5, 1968, in California. His wife, Ethel, and California campaign manager Jesse Unruh, speaker of the California Assembly, are on stage with him. Kennedy was shot after he left the platform and entered an adjacent room.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Robert Kennedy addresses enthusiastic supporters in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel after winning the California presidential primary. A short time later, the New York Senator would be fatally gunned down in the hotel’s kitchen.
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A young man, assumed to be Irwin Stroll, being rolled into Central Receiving Hospital on a stretcher. Stroll was one of five additional people struck by bullets when Sirhan Sirhan shot Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968. Kennedy was fatally wounded, dying the next day.
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AP Images
Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, right, accused assassin of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is seen with his attorney Russell E. Parsons, June of 1968.
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Dick Strobel/AP
Robert Rozzi, police technician, and Charles Wright, police officer, left, inspect a bullet hole discovered in a door frame in a kitchen corridor of the Ambassador hotel in Los Angeles near where Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot and critically wound June 5, 1968. The bullet was still in the wood.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Robert Kennedy's press secretary Frank Mankiewicz speaks to the press on June 5, 1968, at the hospital following the assassination at the Ambassador Hotel.
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An unidentified man at the podium of the Ambassador Hotel ballroom addresses the crowd after the shooting of Senator Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968.
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Los Angeles Public Library
In 1975, Coleman inspects the evidence connected with the Robert Kennedy assassination, among which is the revolver that Sirhan B. Sirhan used to kill Kennedy. Other exhibits included bullets and clothing.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Unidentified officer holds in his hands the gun that killed Robert F. Kennedy, a .22 caliber revolver.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Among other evidence connected with the Robert Kennedy assassination is this revolver Sirhan B. Sirhan used to kill Kennedy. Image taken in 1975.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Deputy Police Chief Robert Houghton points to the kitchen area adjacent to the Embassy Ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel where Robert F. Kennedy was shot. This model and another were revealed January 10, 1969, at LAPD headquarters.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Grief-stricken spectators at Los Angeles International Airport on June 6, 1968, following the departure of the plane transporting the body of Senator Kennedy to New York City.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Crowds at Lucas Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard bid a final farewell to Senator Robert F. Kennedy as his funeral cortege leaves Good Samaritan Hospital for Los Angeles International Airport on June 6, 1968.
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Los Angeles Public Library
A distraught woman with a transistor radio weeps after hearing of the death of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Grief-stricken spectators at Los Angeles International Airport on June 6, 1968, following the departure of the plane transporting the body of Senator Kennedy to New York City.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Photograph caption dated June 5, 1968 reads, "Marilyn Conroyd first heard the news of Sen. Kennedy's death on the small transistor radio." Conroyd was one of many holding a vigil outside Good Samaritan Hospital.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Woman reading newspaper, an "extra" edition of the Herald-Examiner, containing the headline, "Kennedy Shot."
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Los Angeles Public Library
Photograph caption dated June 6, 1968 reads, "Two Kennedy admirers carry another who collapsed during the Kennedy 'funeral today." This was taken at the Imperial Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, following the departure of the plane transporting the body of Senator Kennedy to New York City.
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Los Angeles Public Library
The casket containing Senator Robert F. Kennedy's remains being loaded onto a plane at Los Angeles International Airport on June 6, 1968. Identified are Senator Ted Kennedy (center) and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the young man in the doorway of the plane.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Plane carrying Robert F. Kennedy's body departs from Los Angeles International Airport for New York on June 6, 1968.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Special requiem mass for Robert F. Kennedy on June 9, 1968, at St. Vibiana's Cathedral. Msgr. Patrick Roche delivered the sermon.
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AP
Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy is seen with her children Caroline, right, and John Jr., behind, as they walk past the casket of her late husband's brother, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City on June 7, 1968.
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AP
Mrs. Ethel Kennedy is escorted by her brother-in-law, Senator Edward Kennedy, to their pew in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York for the funeral services of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the morning of June 8, 1968.
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AP
Pall bearers stand over the casket of assassinated New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, June 8, 1968.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Drawings of the Sirhan trial for the assassination of Robert Kennedy, drawn by Bryon L. Robley.
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Los Angeles Public Library
Firearms expert Patrick Garland test fires the .22 caliber revolver used by Sirhan B. Sirhan in the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. With Garland is Cortlandt Cunningham, another of seven experts on a special panel conducting the investigation.
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AP
Juan Romero, 67, holds a photo of himself and the dying Sen. Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, taken by the Los Angeles Times' Boris Yaro on June 5, 1968, at his home in Modesto, California. Associated Press Hollywood reporter Bob Thomas was on a one-night political assignment covering Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's victory celebration in the California presidential primary at the Ambassador Hotel when mayhem unfolded before his eyes. He heard pops of gunfire, then screams, and quickly rushed into the kitchen to see the dying Kennedy on the floor, blood oozing from his head. He found a phone and called the AP desk. "I've got a flash. Kennedy shot." Sirhan Sirhan was later convicted of Kennedy's murder.
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Gregory Bull/AP
Sirhan Sirhan reacts during a parole hearing Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. For the 15th time, officials denied parole for Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, after hearing Wednesday from another person who was shot that night and called for the release of Sirhan.
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