"I recognize my own shortcomings - the faults in the conduct of my private life. I realize that I alone am responsible for them, and I am the one who must confront them."
- Edward M. Kennedy
in a speech at
October 25, 1991
In 1971 Richard Burke, a freshman at Georgetown University, volunteered his services to the offices of his political idol, Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachussetts. Through ability, hard work, and dedication, Burke rose in the next four years to become one of the Senator's closest staff members. In 1977 he was made Kennedy's personal assistant; after his appointment in 1978 as Administrative Assistant - the youngest in the Senate - he came to know Edward M. Kennedy perhaps more intimately than anyone outside the closed circle of the Senator's family. He was often the last to see Senator at night and the first to see him in the morning.
This book is the account of what Richard Burke witnessed and experienced during his decade at the Senator's right hand. It is neither a full biography nor an examination of Kennedy's long career in government. Rather, it is the history of a younf man who shared the Senator's professional and personal lives during a time marked by exhilarating public achievements and tragic secret misconduct. His story is not only the chronicle of a shattered idol, but of Richard Burke's own fall from grace, and eventually recovery. Burke does not shrink from confronting his own faults, and he agrees with the Senator: It is time for him to confront his.
Richard E. Burke has been involved in a variety of businesses and philantrophic organizations since leaving the staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy in 1981. He lives in New York City.
copyright, 1992 by Richard E. Burke
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