Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) passed away shortly before midnight on Tuesday, while at home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. He was 77. From CNN:
“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,” a family statement said. “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.”
Kennedy, nicknamed “Ted,” was the younger brother of slain President John F. Kennedy and New York Sen. Robert Kennedy, who was gunned down while seeking the White House in 1968. However, his own presidential aspirations were hobbled by the controversy around a 1969 auto accident that left a young woman dead, and a 1980 primary challenge to then-President Jimmy Carter that ended in defeat.
Senator Kennedy was a lawyer. He graduated in 1959 from the University of Virginia School of Law (where he won a moot court competition), became a member of the Massachusetts bar, and served as an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County from 1961 to 1962. But he was more known for his long and distinguished political career than for his legal one.
Update: Over at True/Slant, Elie asks: “Could a 30 year old Edward Kennedy get elected to the Senate today? Would he have survived the scandals of his youth to become entrenched in the U.S. Senate?”
Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy dead [CNN]
Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer at Age 77 [ABC News]
Senator Edward Kennedy, 77, dies [Reuters via Drudge]