The Liberal Lion Has Lost His Fight With Brain Cancer

Senator Kennedy has been a Senator almost as long as I’ve been alive. Through all of his personal and professional ups and downs he has been a presence and a force in the Senate and the Kennedy many of us feel we know best. My sympathies to his friends and family.

(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Kennedy’s Life and Career
First elected to the Senate in 1962 to complete the term of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) rose to become the second most senior member of the chamber. Often called a lion of the Senate, Kennedy is hailed for his abilities to work across party lines and to rally support for critical legislation. Asked about his greatest legislative pursuits, Kennedy called his dedication to health-care reform, “the cause of my life.”


His family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

“We’ve lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever,” the statement said. “We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all.”

President Obama’s Statement

President Obama was notified about 2 a.m., aides said, and spoke to Kennedy’s widow, Victoria, a short time later. In a statement released Wednesday morning, Obama paid tribute to Kennedy, pointing out that “virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts. . . .

“Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time,” the statement said. “. . . . Our hearts and prayers go out to” the Kennedy family. SOURCE

Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy

  • Born: 22 February 1932
  • Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts
  • Best Known As: U.S. senator from Massachusetts since 1962
  • Died: Tuesday, August 25, 2009
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