Senator Edward Kennedy Dies at Age 77

In obituaries, politics, U.S History on August 26, 2009 by Editor Z

Above is the famous 1980 Presidential speech by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), marking the end of his campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Massachusetts Senior Senator, “Liberal Lion”, and the last surviving son of the Kennedy dynasty that illuminated Massachusetts, the United States, and the globe passed on last night at the age of 77, following a lengthy bout with brain cancer.

Kennedy was the youngest of nine children, including President John F Kennedy and Senator Robert F Kennedy. Kennedy became a U.S Senator from Massachusetts in 1962, filling the Senate seat once held by his elder brother John. Following the deaths of his brothers, who fell victim to political assassins in 1963 and 68 respectively he took the helm of leadership as patriarch of the iconic Kennedy family, steering them and a nation through the shimmering waters of prosperity and greatness and the dark waters of tumult and uncertainty.

Throughout his nearly half a century in the Senate he sponsored legislation and heralded such causes as: Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Fair housing, Medicare, health care, Title 9 which called fore fairness for women’s school athletics, lowering the voting age to 18, ending Apartheid, and Peace in Northern Ireland to just name a few segments of that profound body of legislation that aided in broadening that great New Frontier, that idealism his elder brother John F Kennedy articulated in his 1960 Presidential campaign.

Kennedy of course was not without his sins, blemishes, and short comings. But his death and in life, despite often being the target and object of ire of conservatives, he marshaled bi-partisan respect and admiration.

Associated Press:

HYANNIS PORT, Mass. (AP) — Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in an enduring political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.

In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy, a liberal Democrat, served alongside 10 presidents – his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them – compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more.

In a brief statement to reporters at his rented vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., President Barack Obama eulogized Kennedy as one of the “most accomplished Americans” in history – and a man whose work in Congress helped give millions new opportunities.

“Including myself,” added the nation’s first black president.

Senator Kennedy is survived by his last surviving sibling, his elder sister Jean Kennedy Smith, countless nieces and nephews, grandchildren, his three children Kara, Teddy Jr, and Patrick, two step children, his first wife Joan, and his wife Vicki.

Here is the official statement released by the Kennedy family:

“Edward M. Kennedy – the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. 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. 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. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.”



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