Remembering Senator Edward (Ted) M. Kennedy, 1932-2009


Sen. Ted Kennedy spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention even though he wasn't anywhere near 100 percent.

Appleton/News Sen. Ted Kennedy spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention even though he wasn’t anywhere near 100 percent.


  • Edward M. Kennedy: Senator From 1962-2009: Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), one of the most powerful and influential senators in American history, died after battling a brain tumor. Kennedy was the vibrant symbol of American liberalism in an era of conservative ascendance. – WaPo
  • Edward M. Kennedy, Senate Stalwart, Is Dead at 77: Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew acclaim and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died late Tuesday night. He was 77…. – NYT, 8-26-09
  • Edward M. Kennedy Left Major Imprint on Life in D.C.: At 3 p.m. Wednesday, students and teachers gathered around the flagpole outside Brent Elementary School on Capitol Hill to remember one of their own…. – WaPo, 8-27-09
  • HNN Hot Topics: Edward Kennedy’s Life and LegacyHNN
  • A nation reacts to the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy…Detroit Free Press, 8-27-09
  • Residents at Hyannis Port mourn death of their neighbor, Ted Kennedy: Flags flew at half-mast and flowers were left outside the Kennedy compound Wednesday morning as Hyannis Port neighbors mourned the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy…. – NY Daily News, 8-26-09
  • Sen Edward Kennedy dies: Kennedy was key part of Obama’s agenda and early ambitions: Senator’s death leaves president without early ally… Chicago Tribune, 8-27-09
  • For Obama, Kennedy’s illness meant a missed chance for a mentor: Senator Edward Kennedy’s brain cancer dashed hopes he would help propel President Barack Obama’s bold agenda…. – LAT, 8-27-09

The President at Senator Kennedy's funeral

(President Barack Obama attends the funeral mass for Senator Edward Kennedy at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston, Massachusetts, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

  • The Kennedy Funeral: The funeral for Senator Edward M. Kennedy begins at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help just outside Boston. The rain outside, and the wet streets, offer up a symbolism often remarked upon at dampened funerals as a renewal of life. Or that the heavens are weeping…. – NYT, 8-29-09
  • List of dignitaries attending Kennedy’s funeral SaturdayBoston Globe, 8-29-09
  • US Capitol applauds Kennedy one last time: Thousands gathered outside the US Capitol broke into loud applause Saturday as Edward Kennedy’s funeral procession halted briefly next to the building on the last leg of the senator’s final journey. In unprecedented scenes at the nation’s top assembly, thousands of other ordinary by-passers had gathered solemnly on the lawns and roadsides nearby to bid farewell to Kennedy, who died late Tuesday from brain cancer aged 77. Waving flags and cheering, they came to honor the last of a band of brothers who shaped the politics of a nation…. – AFP, 8-29-09
  • Kennedy’s Papal Correspondence and a Spontaneous Sing-Along: At the Capitol Despite the heat, people started gathering hours before the funeral procession’s arrival. According to CNN, United States Park Police estimated that 1,000 people had gathered on the Capitol steps and 4,000 on the grounds at around 5:45 on Saturday evening, hoping to catch a glimpse of the hearse during its brief stop…. – NYT, 8-29-09
  • BURIAL AT ARLINGTON ‘We Loved This Kind And Tender Hero’ A Day of Mourning, Celebration Edward M. Kennedy Funeral Service: Thousands of Kennedy admirers stood outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston while family, colleagues and friends filled the church to say final goodbyes to the senator.
    On the day he was carried to his final resting place, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was remembered Saturday as a legislator of almost unequalled prowess, a political force who left a lasting imprint on the country and a husband, father and patriarch whose private acts of love and devotion helped his star-crossed family endure tragedy and misfortune…. – WaPo, 8-29-09
  • Sen. Ted Kennedy spent his life looking out for others: Edward Kennedy came to the last rousing political speech of his life from a Denver hospital, already being treated for the brain cancer that finally took him last week. On top of that, Kennedy showed up for last year’s Democratic convention suffering from what would be diagnosed as kidney stones. So the great health care advocate needed more health care of his own, right before he stood up for Barack Obama…. – NY Daily News, 8-31-09
  • An icon, for better or worse: In the spring of 1970, months after Mary Jo Kopechne died in Ted Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick, graphic designer George Lois produced an Esquire magazine cover depicting the senator in a Santa Claus hat, the same innocent headgear Lois had used seven years earlier to ironically crown Sonny Liston, the boxer whom most of middle-class America saw as an unapologetic thug. Lois said he returned to the idea for Kennedy to invoke “the bad-guy/good-guy theme at a time when he was being vilified.” Not long after Esquire’s June 1970 issue, featuring an article entitled “Reshaping Teddy’s Image,” hit newsstands, Lois encountered Kennedy on a Manhattan street, uncertain about the reaction he could expect. “I ran into him,” Lois recalled this week, “and he said: ‘I’m better-looking than that Sonny Liston!'”… – Boston Globe, 9-01-09
  • Kennedy’s Closest Confidante, in Politics and LifeNYT, 8-29-09
  • Vicki Reggie Kennedy: lawyer, widow, next U.S. senator from Massachusetts?: Time Magazine has called her “The Woman Who Saved Ted.” Now, though she has said she is not interested, pressure is mounting on Victoria Reggie Kennedy to save his agenda — serving as interim senator from Massachusetts until January when a special election is planned to fill the seat held by her husband, the late Edward Kennedy…. – LAT, 8-31-09
  • Fame didn’t separate Kennedy from little guy: The world remembers Sen. Edward Kennedy for his passionate liberalism, legislative skill and stewardship of a political dynasty.
    Kevin Larson recalls a McDonald’s lunch. A decade ago, Kennedy hosted Larson’s 6- and 4-year-old sons to thank them for returning a lost diamond ring they had found at a playground. Larson remembers his boys bounding past a reception area filled with important people in suits to McDonald’s meals Kennedy’s staff had waiting for them in his office. The graciousness Kennedy showed his family that day was repeated in the coming years in notes and Christmas cards. “He never forgot the little guy,” said Larson, who lives in the Boston suburb of Malden…. – AP, 8-27-09
  • Edward Kennedy memoir already a best-seller: Edward Kennedy was buried Saturday, but his impact will surely linger in the words contained in his memoir, “True Compass.” The book, which will be released Sept. 14, already has become Amazon’s best-selling biography. “Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy” by Peter S. Canellos was also in the Top 10 in that category. Jonathan Karp, editor-in-chief of Twelve, which is publishing the book, said in an open letter that “Kennedy has been keeping a personal journal through nearly 50 years of his public life, beginning with John F. Kennedy’s campaign for president in 1960. Five years ago, he began an oral history project at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, where he began to address all aspects of his life – his family, his career in the Senate, and his view of the historic events of our time.” – Baltimore Sun, 8-31-09
  • National Portrait Gallery Displays Warhol’s Kennedy Portrait: Visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery can pay their respects to Edward Kennedy by viewing a portrait by Andy Warhol. Made as a campaign fundraiser for the late Massachusetts senator’s 1980 presidential campaign, the silkscreened work features subtle red and blue lines meant to mimic the American flag. Kennedy lost the Democratic nomination to Jimmy Carter, whom Warhol had painted only a few years before. Kennedy died August 25 at the age of 77. – Art Info, 8-31-09
  • Edward Kennedy books: Sad to hear about Edward Kennedy’s death. For Baby Boomers, the Kennedy family held a special place, reflecting both the hope — and tragedy — of our youth. Recalling the 1960’s, when two of his brothers were felled by assassins’ bullets, the then-America seems an almost unbelievable place. Of course, young Teddy had his own demon: the Chappaquiddick incident that left a young woman dead. But he put together a remarkable political career as the only surviving brother…. – Baltimore Sun, 8-31-09
  • Shriver: Uncle’s death may aid health care push: Maria Shriver says the death of her uncle Sen. Edward Kennedy could provide momentum to the senator’s lifetime effort to overhaul the nation’s health care system…. – AP, 8-29-09



Pool photograph by Brian Snyder Former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former president George W. Bush and his wife Laura, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife Jill, former first lady Rosalynn Carter and former President Jimmy Carter wait for the services to begin.

  • PRESIDENT OBAMA, on Senator Edward M. Kennedy: “His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives — in seniors who know new dignity, in families that know new opportunity, in children who know education’s promise, and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just — including myself.”
  • Vice President Joe Biden, quoted at The unique thing about Teddy was it was never about him. It was always about you. … People I admire, great women and men, at the end of the day gets down to being about them. With Teddy, it was never about him.
  • Kennedy family statement: Veteran US Senator Edward Kennedy has died at the age of 77 after suffering a brain tumour diagnosed in 2008. The announcement came in a short statement from his family:
    Edward M Kennedy – the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port [Massachusetts].
    We’ve lost the irreplaceable centre 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.
    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, fairness and opportunity for all.
    He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.
  • Obama Offers Tribute to ‘a Defender of a Dream’: “His extraordinary life on this earth has come to an end. His extraordinary work lives on,” Mr. Obama said, speaking from the Blue Heron Farm in the town of Chilmark. “For his family, he was a guardian. For America, he was a defender of a dream.”… “His fight has given us the opportunity that was denied us when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us,” Mr. Obama said, “the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye.” – NYT, 8-27-09
  • Grandchildren give thanks to Kennedy, ‘best in the world’: “When most people of Ted Kennedy, they think about the man who changed the lives of millions of people by fighting for a better health care. When I about him, vibrant memories of sailing, laughing, Thanksgiving dinner, talking on the front porch and playing with Splash come to mind,” Kiley Kennedy said. “To me, all the things he has done to change the world are just icing on my grandpa cake of a truly miraculous person.”… – NECN, 8-29-09
  • Nancy Reagan remembers Kennedy, fondly: “Both of them respected one another. And it was a very good friendship. It’s what there should be more of today,” Reagan’s widow, Nancy, said Wednesday night on her son Ron’s radio show on Air America. “You can get so much done if you work together,” she added.
    Ron Reagan asked whether the president and senator shared a bond in some way because Reagan narrowly escaped assassination, and Kennedy’s two older brothers were killed. “Maybe there was,” Nancy Reagan replied. She said she and Kennedy worked together for stem cell research, and they did not talk about their political disagreements. “I’ll miss him,” she said of “Teddy,” who he said stayed in touch long past the 2004 death of her husband, with calls on her birthday and notes and flowers on other special events…. – Boston Globe, 8-27-09
  • Biden Offers Personal Memories of Kennedy: “Don’t you find it remarkable that one of the most partisan liberal men in the last century, serving in the Senate, has so many of his foes embrace him?” Mr. Biden said. “Because they know he made them bigger. He made them more graceful, by the way in which he conducted himself.”…
    “I just hope we remember how he treated other people, and how he made other people look at themselves and look at one another,” Mr. Biden said. “That’ll be the truly fundamentally unifying legacy of Teddy Kennedy’s life, if that happens. And it will for a while, at least in the Senate.” – NYT, 8-26-09
  • Obama Delivers Muted Eulogy for Friend and Supporter: President Obama said goodbye Saturday to his friend and mentor Edward M. Kennedy, offering a studious profile of a man whom he and much of the country had come to admire and respect….
    Obama said Americans are left with one image of Kennedy: “the image of a man on a boat; white mane tousled; smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for what storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon.” – WaPo, 8-29-09
  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT EULOGY FOR SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica Roxbury, Massachusetts: Ted Kennedy has gone home now, guided by his faith and by the light of those that he has loved and lost. At last he is with them once more, leaving those of us who grieve his passing with the memories he gave, the good that he did, the dream he kept alive, and a single, enduring image — the image of a man on a boat, white mane tousled, smiling broadly as he sails into the wind, ready for whatever storms may come, carrying on toward some new and wondrous place just beyond the horizon. May God bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace. – WH, 8-29-09

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  • Brown calls Sen. Kennedy ‘great internationalist’: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has written that Sen. Edward Kennedy was “a great internationalist” who inspired social progress around the world…. He says “we owe a great debt to the vision and courage of Kennedy,” who died Tuesday at age 77…. – AP, 8-28-09
  • Rep. Kennedy: Dad’s illness has united family: Rep. Patrick Kennedy has found something of a blessing in the curse of cancer afflicting his father: The family has been able to spend much more time with the stricken senator. “It’s been a chance for us to bond and be together and share a special time together that we would never have had together had he been taken from us,” Kennedy, D-R.I., said of his dad, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. “That’s a big gift. (It) let us have the chance to tell him how much we love him. And him to be there to hear it.” – AP, 8-13-09


File:TedKennedy 1962.jpg

  • Douglas Brinkley on Ted Kennedy’s Life: ‘He Did a Kind of a Redemptive Work’: “Well, for starters, Ted Kennedy was Catholic, and a big part of Catholicism is forgiveness. It’s the confession. He’s asked to be forgiven by people. He did a kind of a redemptive work throughout his whole career. He would fall off the wagon. He had a bit of a drinking problem. There was a carousing issue that came up. But he constantly said, I can do better. He asked the public directly, a number of times, that these are my own personal shortcomings, and I’m working on it.” News Busters, 8-27-09
  • JAY WINIK “Kennedy for the Ages Fierce partisanship is a proud senatorial tradition”: Over the course of a long and distinguished career, Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died Tuesday at the age of 77, was like a cat with nine lives who used every one of them. He came from a family touched by greatness, even as it was riddled with unfathomable tragedy. He was the torchbearer for liberalism, even when it was a fading voice on the political scene. If his life was the stuff of rich biography—his memoir, for which he was reportedly paid $8 million, is due out in just over two weeks—the question remains: What will history think of him? Despite all the encomiums, it is too early to tell…. – WSJ, 8-27-09
  • Gil Troy “Mishpacha Ted Kennedy—friend of Israel, champion of social justice, advocate for Soviet Jews—became part of our family: “Kennedy, although not of the World War II generation exactly, was from the Hubert Humphrey-Alan Cranston school of liberals who were passionately pro-Israel, partially because the World War II vets among them had witnessed the Holocaust,” Gil Troy, a professor of history at McGill University and a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said by email yesterday. “Kennedy’s consistent support for Israel, along with his support for Soviet Jewry were givens, not in the sense of being taken for granted, but in the sense of being so central to his identity and worldview, it was assumed. Moreover, there was something very healing, very redemptive, for all concerned that Ted Kennedy, the son of that old anti-Semite Joe Kennedy, was such a good friend of the Jews. I don’t know of Ted discussing his father in that context, but Jews were certainly aware of the generational shift—and were grateful.” – Tablet, 8-27-09
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin: Kennedy Was ‘Strong In The Broken Places’: Well, I’ve known him for probably over 35 years — my husband, of course, worked in the White House with President Kennedy; was with Bobby when he died; and then was very close to Teddy Kennedy, who was at our wedding. We’ve spent vacations with him.
    You know, I think the extraordinary thing about him when you think of that long life is the way it’s really hit individual people in their daily goings-about.
    There’s a real personal bond that you can feel, even out here today at the Kennedy Library. You know, so many of those people who also loved Jack and Bobby, but probably never saw him, only saw either one of them through the power of television.
    A lot of these people here today have actually seen Teddy, they’ve had some dealings with him, or the legislation that he sponsored has affected them — giving them children’s health insurance; helping to get the right to vote; letting them take family and medical leave when something happened in the family; or people who are gay knowing that he helped with them; disabilities, helping with those rights.
    In a certain sense, the senator, it showed, could have more power in some ways, than presidents in making different changes in people’s daily lives, and you feel that in the emotion of these people today….. – (NPR Boston), 8-28-09

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