Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Robert F. Kennedy – Friend and Admirer of George Plimpton


Watch Robert F. Kennedy: Friend and Admirer of George Plimpton

In this film excerpt, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recalls his father’s feelings for George Plimpton, whom his father befriended when they were students at Harvard University.

“My father admired George for his courage, he had a curiosity about life and I think that’s the thing that probably attracted my father the most to him,” says Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “Like my father, he saw life as a great adventure.  You could either embrace and embark on or you could wait until the tide rolled out and you lost your chance.  And I think George never wanted to lose his chance.  He always launched his ship on a high tide and found whatever adventure was waiting for him there.”

In archival footage in Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, a television anchor cites Robert F. Kennedy to describe the unusual journalist: “Bobby Kennedy once confessed that George Plimpton was the man he’d sooner be.”

Plimpton and his first wife Freddy were traveling with Kennedy when he decided to run for president. Because Plimpton was a well known figure in his own right, Plimpton made campaign appearances on Kennedy’s behalf.

American Masters’ Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself premieres nationally Friday, May 16, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).


PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.