The Lion of the Senate Roars No More: Senator Edward Kennedy Dies at 77

Posted on August 26, 2009



Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy of Massachusetts died today at the age of 77 from his battle with brain cancer.

He had been nicknamed by his peers as the “Lion of the Senate” not only because of his physicality but the passion that he had for the issues that he believed in. He had served as senator from Massachusetts for 43 years.
February 22, 1932- August 26 2009

He was the most notable senator of the 20th century and was still a leading force in the 21st. Kennedy played major roles in passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, and was an outspoken liberal standard-bearer during a conservative-dominated era from the 1980s to the early 2000s.

It’s ironic that as important the issue of health care was to Kennedy that he was not a part of the current debate.  President Obama has lost a champion cheerleader in the fight for health care reform. It was so important to Kennedy to have a liberal voice heard in the senate that he asked the Govenor of Massachusetts to change the current law so that a temporary senator can be appointed instead of leaving it up to the people to vote another senator in. He knew that his time was limited and it was a last ditch effort to try and get a liberal appointed in his place. Although I would love to hear as many liberal voices to fight for this issue but Governor Patrick & Co weren’t down with it.

The death of Kennedy is an end of a political era and yet another sad state of affairs for the Kennedy clan. How ironic is it that a family that is so committed to public service has suffered so much tragedy and death.


His oldest brother, Joe Jr., died in a plane crash during World War II when Kennedy was 12. John was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, in 1963, and Robert was killed the night of the California primary in 1968.  His sister, Kathleen, was killed in a plane crash in 1948. Another sister, Rosemary, was born mildly retarded, but was institutionalized after a botched lobotomy in 1941. She died in 1986 after more than 50 years in mental hospitals.  Edward Kennedy had some trials and tribulations throughout his own life. We all know about the infamous Chappaquiddick incident where as a result of his drunkenness he drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick,  across a narrow channel from Martha’s Vineyard . His passenger Mary Jo Kopeche died and Kennedy waited until the morning to report it. True to form with the elite class in this country Kennedy was only charged with leaving the scene of a crime.  A slap on the wrist in comparison to what the consequences would have been if he had been of common stock.

Kennedy paid his pennace by giving back to the public by fighting for poignant lesilature to be passed into laws.

Kennedy is survived by his second wife, Victoria Ann Reggie Kennedy, whom he married in 1992; his first wife, Joan Bennett; and five children — Patrick, Kara and Edward Jr. from his first marriage, and Curran and Caroline Raclin from his second.

There will be a void in the Kennedy family and on Capital Hill that will never be filled.

Rest in Peace

Posted in: Rest In Peace