Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009) was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. In office since November 1962, Kennedy served nine terms in the Senate.
At the time of his death, he was the second most senior member of the Senate, after Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and the third-longest-serving senator in U.S. history. He was best known as one of the most outspoken and effective Senate proponents of progressive causes and bills. For many years the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family, he was the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, both victims of assassinations, and the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.
Kennedy battled a malignant brain tumor first diagnosed in May 2008, which greatly limited his appearances in the Senate; though he survived longer than doctors first predicted, he died just before midnight on August 25, 2009 at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
“Ted Kennedy was a mentor, a guiding light, and a close friend – we all loved the man. In the Senate, Ted Kennedy was our sun – the center of our universe. To be pulled by his strong gravitational field, to bask in his warmth was a privilege, an honor, and, for many of us, even a life changing experience. His death leaves our world dark but, as he said in his own words, “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die”. Ted, we will not let your flag fall.”
– U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer
“It is with profound grief that I learned the news of Senator Edward Kennedy’s passing late last night.”
“Senator Kennedy took his seat in the United States Senate in 1962, and from the moment he was sworn in, he fought for the progressive principles and ideas that he held so close to his heart. Over the course of 47 years in the Senate, he was an unstoppable force for peace, civil rights, expanding access to health care, improving education, reforming our immigration system and encouraging national and community service. It is fair to say that Senator Kennedy influenced every important issue that affected our nation for the past half century, and on every issue, he stood for justice and compassion.”
“Senator Kennedy was the Lion of the Senate and one of the most consequential figures of the 20th century. He was intimately familiar with the Senate’s levers of power, and knew how and in what order to pull them. His mastery of the legislative process is unparalleled in our time, and he stands on par with giants like Webster and Clay. Still, first and foremost, he was a friend to regular Americans. He was a fighter for our needs. He was a true American hero.”
“And so today, Americans mourn the loss of our great champion, but we also rejoice in what he lived for. As Senator Kennedy said of his brother Robert, so can be said of him: ‘He gave us strength in time of trouble, wisdom in time of uncertainty and sharing in time of happiness.”
“Senator Kennedy may be gone, but the impression he left on this nation and its people remains. The values he spent his life fighting for stand eternal. His dream for a better future lives. On behalf of my family and all of the people of the State of New York, I offer the Kennedy family my condolences on this great loss. I hope that they, and all of the Senator’s friends, colleagues and supporters, can take comfort from the knowledge that America is a safer, freer and more just nation thanks to Ted Kennedy.”
– New York Governor David A. Paterson