Robert Francis Kennedy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 20, 1925. He served with the United States Naval Reserve from 1944 to 1946. He earned a B.A. degree from Harvard University in 1948, was a correspondent on The Boston Post, and in 1951 graduated from the University of Virginia Law School. Kennedy was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1951, and began to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1955. He joined the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice as an attorney in 1951. In 1952, he served as campaign manager for his brother's (Congressman John F. Kennedy) election to the United States Senate. He was assistant counsel to the Hoover Commission in 1953. He became assistant counsel to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 1953, chief counsel to the minority in 1954, and chief counsel and staff director in 1955. From 1957 to 1960 Kennedy was chief counsel of the Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field. He managed John F. Kennedy's 1960 Presidential campaign. On January 21, 1961, President Kennedy appointed him Attorney General of the United States, and he held the office until September 3, 1964. Kennedy was elected to the United States Senate from New York in 1965. He was assassinated in Los Angeles, California, on June 6, 1968, while campaigning for the Presidency of the United States.
Shikler was born in Brooklyn, New York. He received a masters of fine arts from the Tyler School of Fine Arts Temple University. He studied in England, and with Hans Hoffmann in New York City. He was commissioned to paint portraits of President and Mrs. Kennedy, which hang in the White House, as well as other Kennedy family portraits. Shikler painted Attorney General Kennedy's portrait in 1975.