Our Voices

Kerry Kennedy on the Passing of Pete Hamill

My father loved Pete Hamill and his ability to mirror New York back to itself. Daddy wrote a series of letters to Pete expressing admiration for the grit and honesty of his columns. Pete, in turn, encouraged my father to run for president and then signed on to the campaign. Pete, Jack Newfield and Jimmy Breslin became the troika who showed Daddy New York in all its guts and glory—exploring the city’s often overlooked corners and communities and meeting the denizens of neighborhoods which were rarely on the schedule of traditional campaign stops.

Pete Hamill will be missed. His was a great voice which reflected our society, for better and worse. His artistry reminds me of my father’s words:

“All great questions must be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice of the people—speaking out—in prose, or painting or poetry or music; speaking out—in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes—let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind.” -Robert F. Kennedy