Ray's Open Road

RAY KELLY

Police Commissioner
NYPD

“A lot of people don’t think about what makes them happy or what they want to do. They do it because their father did it; they go to the family business or they go to the family school.”

INTERESTS:

Government

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Money & Financial Security Fulfillment Passion

TAGS:

action, adrenaline, comfort, excitement, happiness, marines, society, vietnam war

BIOGRAPHY:

Ray Kelly, police commissioner of the New York Police Department, remembers Manhattan in the old days when it was dangerous; that’s because it’s where he grew up. When he was 13, his family moved to Queens to get to a safer part of the city. Later, when he was in college, the police department started advertising a police cadet program targeted to college grads; he applied and was in the first graduating class. The youngest of five kids, Ray had always looked up to his brothers, who were all in the Marine Corps; so when he was offered a commission to the Officer Program, he accepted. Ray left for three years to serve active duty and fight in the Vietnam War, but when he returned, he went right back to the NYPD. Policing became a very interesting job for me, he says--the adrenaline of responding to a call, the excitement, the action--it was like the feeling he got in the Marines. “A lot of people don’t think about it; they don’t think about what makes them happy or what they want to do,” Ray says. “They do it because their father did it, they go to the family business, or they go to the family school.” Ray followed in his brothers’ footsteps to an extent, but in the end, he found the place that made him happiest and worked hard at it. “If you focus on it, you’ll find something naturally that is just the right thing for you,” he says. “There are certain things you find attractive, that you’re comfortable doing--those things are where you’re going to be happiest.”

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