Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy

U.S. Senator

Born: 22 February 1932
Died: 25 August 2009
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts
Best known as:

U.S. senator from Massachusetts, 1962-2009

Edward Moore Kennedy was a powerful U.S. senator from Massachusetts for nearly five decades. A member of the famous Kennedy clan, "Teddy" was elected to the Senate in 1962 to fill the seat formerly held by his brother, John F. Kennedy, who had become president in 1961. Edward Kennedy was re-elected in 1964 and then again in 1970, 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000 and 2006; he remained in office until his death in 2009. A staunch Democrat, Ted Kennedy gained a reputation as a hard-working liberal on issues such as education and health care. His messy personal life, including many tales of drinking and womanizing, also made him a hot topic for gossip columnists. Ted Kennedy was the driver during a 1969 car accident in which a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned on Chappaquiddick Island, off the coast of Massachusetts. Kennedy was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident, yet his political career survived. Kennedy ran for president in 1980 but was defeated for the Democratic nomination by incumbent president Jimmy Carter. In time, Kennedy became one of the Senate's elder statesmen, known for his bipartisan friendships with conservative Senator Orrin Hatch and others. Kennedy had a seizure in May of 2008, after which he began treatment for a malignant brain tumor, but remained in the Senate and supported the candidacy of President Barack Obama that year. Ted Kennedy lived to see Obama inaugurated, but died at his family home in Cape Cod in August of 2009. He was replaced temporarily by his longtime colleague Paul Kirk, but Republican Scott Brown won the seat in a special election in January of 2010. Brown then was defeated by Democrat Elizabeth Warren in the general elections of 2012.

Extra credit:

Ted Kennedy's older brother Robert F. Kennedy also was a U.S. senator, from New York state, before his 1968 assassination... His sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics. She died just two weeks before her brother... Edward Kennedy was married to the former Virginia Joan Bennett from 1958 until their divorce in 1984; they had three children, Kara, Edward Jr., and Patrick... Ted Kennedy married the former Victoria Reggie in 1992. They had no children together... Ted Kennedy was buried at Arlington Cemetery, next to his brothers John and Robert.

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