Skip to main content

John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy
Usage Conditions Apply
Arthur B. Rickerby, 15 Mar 1921 - 2 Aug 1972
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 29 May 1917 - 22 Nov 1963
Robert Francis Kennedy, 20 Nov 1925 - 6 Jun 1968
Gelatin silver print
Image: 23.6 x 34.1cm (9 5/16 x 13 7/16")
Sheet: 28 x 35.4cm (11 x 13 15/16")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1cm (22 x 28")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
© Wanda Rickerby
Object number
Exhibition Label
By 1962, Attorney General Robert Kennedy was President John Kennedy's closest adviser, even in foreign affairs. This was most evident during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. When reconnaissance flights detected Soviet missiles in Cuba, President Kennedy and his advisers agreed that this should not be allowed, but disagreed on how to get Nikita Khrushchev to remove them. Some advocated an air strike; Robert Kennedy was among the most vocal against such an attack, calling it "Pearl Harbor in reverse." He convinced his brother to establish a naval blockade to turn back Soviet ships carrying missiles. After a tense week long showdown bringing the U.S. and Soviet Union the closest they would come to nuclear conflict, Khrushchev agreed to call back his ships in return for a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
United States\District of Columbia