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 from November 1962 until his death, 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 was born in Boston and raised in Massachusetts, New York, Florida, and England. He attended Harvard College and served in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Harvard in 1956 and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1959. His 1958 marriage to Virginia Joan Bennett produced three children and ended in divorce in 1982. He was a manager in his brother John’s successful 1960 campaign for president. He then worked as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Kennedy entered the Senate in a 1962 special election to fill the seat once held by his brother John. He was seriously injured in an airplane crash in 1964 and suffered from lifelong back pain as a result. Kennedy was elected to his first six-year term in 1964 and was reelected seven more times.
The 1969 Chappaquiddick incident, which resulting in the death of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, significantly damaged his chances of becoming President of the United States; his 1980 presidential election ended in a primary campaign loss to incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Kennedy was known for his oratorical power: his 1968 eulogy for his brother Robert and his 1980 Democratic National Convention rallying cry for American liberalism being among his best-known moments.
Kennedy was the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. He became known as “The Lion of the Senate”, due to his long history and influence in the legislature. More than 300 bills that Kennedy and his staff wrote have been enacted into law. He was known for his ability to work with Republicans and to find compromises among Senators with disparate views. Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws that have affected the lives of all Americans, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act in 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Mental Health Parity Act in 1996 and 2008, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997, the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. In the 2000s, he was a leader of several unsuccessful efforts at immigration reform. Over decades in office, Kennedy’s major legislative goal had been enactment of universal health care, which he continued to work toward during the Obama administration.
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.
This family has lost it’s sons to service to this country but never asked for anything in return……Mr.Kennedy’s final effort was to support health care for everyone let’s work and pray that our legislators honor his memory by passing a substantive health care bill……In conclusion I like many other Americans say thanks and pray that you Mr.Senator Edward M. Kennedy rest in peace for the peace that you have brought to many.