MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2014 - This Day In History
Ted Kennedy (1932 - 2009) At Last Joins His Brothers
Posted By jwilkes - Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 2:22 AM
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Senator Ted Kennedy- Lion of the Senate, patriarch of the Democratic Party, and the last son of the greatest generation of the greatest political family in American history - has died at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachuseets at 77 years of age following a long battle with brain cancer.

Kennedy was the youngest child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, a full seventeen years the junior of the eldest of the Kennedy children, Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (who died in a plane crash during World War II), and fifteen years younger than his famous elder brother, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

After finishing at Harvard and graduating cum laude at the University of Virginia School of Law, he made his first foray into politics when John was elected president in 1960.  Just 29 years old at the time, Kennedy waited until he could constitutionally qualify for election to the Senate, and ran two years later.  He took office with a wide margin, and would repeat his success eight more times for a total of just under 47 years.  He was the second most senior member of the Senate, and the third longest serving Senator of all time.

Kennedy was just 31 when his brother John was assassinated in 1963.  He'd experience even greater pain five years later when his other brother, Robert- with whom Ted had been incredibly close- was shot in 1968.  He became a surrogate father to all 13 of his brothers' children following their deaths.

Kennedy sought the Democratic nomination for president in 1980, setting up a contentious battle between he and the incumbent Democratic president, Jimmy Carter.  But reports of past personal problems and a disorganized campaign prevailed, culminating in Kennedy's concession speech that today is regarded as among the finest in American political history.  "For all those whose cares have been our concern," he said, "the work goes one, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

Kennedy spent the next 29 years as one of the most influential men in the Senate, championing such causes as immigration reform, health care reform, and workers' rights.  In 2008, he waded into a nasty battle for the Democratic nomination and threw his support behind Senator Barack Obama, largely seen as the turning point in his contest against then-Senator Hillary Clinton.

He was diagnosed with brain cancer in late 2008.  He passed away on August 25, 2009 just before midnight.

 



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Discussion:
[-] So sad - Guest-KenInDallas
It truly is the end of an era...
[ Posted at 2:35 AM on 8/26/09 | Reply ]
Thank you
[ Posted at 2:59 AM on 8/26/09 | Reply ]
[-] You have to smile... - Guest-George65
When you think that the Kennedy brothers are together again, in a much better place than this one.

Thank you for a life of service, Senator.
[ Posted at 9:08 AM on 8/26/09 | Reply ]
[-] Joe Jr. - Guest-harchickgirl1
"...his eldest brother, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. "

Hate to put a damper on things, but Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. was the eldest Kennedy sibling. He died on active duty in World War II (July 25, 1915 – August 12, 1944). He was the one that Joe Sr. had originally groomed for political office.
[ Posted at 11:32 AM on 8/26/09 | Reply ]
That's correct, and I apologize for the careless error. Joseph was a full 17 years older than Ted, though he died when Ted was only 12 years old. I've made the correction in the article. -JW
[ Posted at 12:44 PM on 8/26/09 | Reply ]
[-] An accomplished senator - BardofWilmette
I was going to note the minor error about Joe Jr. actually being the eldest brother, but I see that this has already been noted. The main thing I would like to say about Ted Kennedy was that after he abandoned his own presidential efforts when his challenge to President Carter failed, he focused on being the best senator that he could be. In this regard, he far outdid his brothers. He is sure to be remembered by future historians as one of the most accomplished senators in U.S. history.

In addition, Kennedy was the kind of senator that used to be more common in the past. He could be a genuine good friend to senators who were his ideological opposites. Bob Dole is a good examle of a Republican version of the same thing. They seem to be literally a dying breed, as political differences between lawmakers increasingly translate into personal differences. I hope that this trend can be reversed.

The Bard of Wilmette Website Link
[ Posted at 11:57 AM on 8/26/09 | Reply ]

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