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Robert Kennedy Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. on January 17, 1954 to Ethel and Robert F. Kennedy, a United States Senator who was assassinated in 1968. He was the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963, and Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy Jr. received a bachelor’s degree in literature and American history from Harvard before going on to obtain a degree in law from the University of Virginia and a Master of Environmental Law degree from Pace University. He has devoted his career to working with various environmental groups to defend the need for clean water.
Kennedy has written numerous articles about the environment which have been published in many prolific magazines and newspapers, including Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times. He has also written two books with environmental themes titled Crimes Against Nature and The Riverkeepers. Other books he published include a biography about Judge Frank M. Johnson and several books for children.
Robert Kennedy Jr. used his legal talents to help New York’s Riverkeeper group successfully sue companies that were polluting the Hudson River. Many give him the credit for cleaning up that waterway. His efforts received attention from Time magazine, which named him one of the "Heroes for the Planet".
He has served as the chief prosecuting counsel for Riverkeeper and as president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an organization that inspired other such organizations to form around the world. Robert Kennedy Jr. also worked as a professor and supervising counsel in the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University. His other accomplishments include being a co-host of the Air America radio program Ring of Fire and serving as a senior counsel for the National Resources Defense Council.
His work to defend and improve the environment is not solely concentrated on the United Stats. He has also helped tribes in Canada and Latin America negotiate treaties protecting the resources of their territories. Robert Kennedy Jr. expanded his environmental advocacy beyond protecting watersheds by promoting the construction of wind farms and other sources of sustainable development.
In addition to his work in the environmental movement, Robert Kennedy Jr. is a staunch advocate of free market capitalism. He claimed that companies that pollute are actually subsidized by the taxpayers via laws passed specifically to benefit those industries. His belief that free market capitalism would prevent this type of political cronyism sets him apart from the average environmentalist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Robert Kennedy Jr.?
Robert Kennedy Jr. is an American environmental attorney, author, and activist. He is the son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy. Born on January 17, 1954, Kennedy has become a prominent voice in environmental advocacy, particularly through his work with the Waterkeeper Alliance, which he helped found. He has also been involved in political activism and has written several books on environmental issues.
What is Robert Kennedy Jr.'s educational background?
Robert Kennedy Jr. attended Harvard University for his undergraduate degree, where he studied American history and literature, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1976. He then obtained a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1982 and a Master of Laws from Pace University School of Law in 1987, where he specialized in environmental law.
What are some of Robert Kennedy Jr.'s notable achievements in environmental advocacy?
Robert Kennedy Jr. has had a significant impact on environmental advocacy. He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply, resulting in the landmark New York City Watershed Agreement in 1997. As the president of Waterkeeper Alliance, he has helped the organization grow to over 300 local Waterkeeper programs worldwide, working to protect rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways. His work has earned him numerous awards, including being named one of Time magazine's "Heroes for the Planet."
Has Robert Kennedy Jr. been involved in any controversies?
Yes, Robert Kennedy Jr. has been involved in controversies, particularly for his stance on vaccines. He has been a vocal critic of certain vaccines and has questioned their safety and efficacy, which has drawn criticism from the medical community and public health experts. His position has led to concerns about the spread of vaccine misinformation, which can undermine public health efforts to control preventable diseases.
What books has Robert Kennedy Jr. written?
Robert Kennedy Jr. has authored several books on environmental issues, including "Crimes Against Nature" (2004), in which he criticizes the environmental policies of the George W. Bush administration, and "The Riverkeepers" (1997), co-authored with John Cronin, which details the fight to restore the Hudson River. His literary contributions provide insights into environmental challenges and advocate for stronger protection of natural resources.