Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Ted Kennedy ha Fallecido
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U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy dies aged 77
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By Scott Malone
BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, a towering figure in the Democratic Party who took the helm of one of America's most fabled political families after two older brothers were assassinated, has died at age 77, his family said on Wednesday.
"Edward M. Kennedy, the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply, died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port (Massachusetts)," the Kennedy family said in a statement.
One of the most influential and longest-serving senators in U.S. history -- a liberal standard-bearer who was also known as a consummate congressional dealmaker -- Kennedy had been battling brain cancer, which was diagnosed in May 2008.
"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," the family statement added.
His death marked the twilight of a political dynasty, and dealt a blow to Democrats as they seek to answer President Barack Obama's call for an overhaul of the healthcare system. Kennedy had made healthcare reform his signature cause.
Known as "Teddy," he was the brother of President John Kennedy, assassinated in 1963, Senator Robert Kennedy, fatally shot while campaigning for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination, and Joe Kennedy, a pilot killed in World War Two.
When he first took the Senate seat previously held by John Kennedy in 1962, he was seen as something of a political lightweight who owed his ascent to his famous name.
Yet during his nearly half century in the chamber, Kennedy became known as one of Washington's most effective senators, crafting legislation by working with lawmakers and presidents of both parties, and finding unlikely allies.
At the same time, he held fast to liberal causes deemed anachronistic by the centrist "New Democrats," and was a lightning rod for conservative ire.
He helped enact measures to protect civil and labor rights, expand healthcare, upgrade schools, increase student aid and contain the spread of nuclear weapons.
"There's a lot to do," Kennedy told Reuters in 2006. "I think most of all it's the injustice that I continue to see and the opportunity to have some impact on it."
After Robert Kennedy's death, Edward was expected to waste little time in vying for the presidency. But in 1969, a young woman drowned after a car Kennedy was driving plunged off a bridge on the Massachusetts resort island of Chappaquiddick after a night of partying.
Kennedy's image took a major hit after it emerged he had failed to report the accident to authorities. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and received a suspended sentence.
Kennedy eventually ran for his party's presidential nomination in 1980 but lost to then-President Jimmy Carter.
His presidential ambitions thwarted, Kennedy devoted himself to his Senate career.
(Additional reporting by Thomas Ferraro in Washington; (Editing by Peter Cooney)
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Edward Moore Kennedy
United States Senator
November 7, 1962
Serving with John Kerry
Preceded by Benjamin A. Smith
16th United States Senate Majority Whip
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1971
Leader Mike Mansfield
Preceded by Russell B. Long
Succeeded by Robert Byrd
Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by James Eastland
Succeeded by Strom Thurmond
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resource
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Orrin Hatch
Succeeded by Nancy Kassebaum Baker
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
January 4, 2007
Preceded by Mike Enzi
Succeeded by Jim Jeffords
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Jim Jeffords
Succeeded by Jim Jeffords
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Jim Jeffords
Succeeded by Judd Gregg
Born February 22, 1932 (age 77)
Died August 25, 2009
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Joan Bennett Kennedy (1958–1982)
Victoria Reggie Kennedy (1992-)
Children Kara Anne Kennedy
Edward Kennedy, Jr.
Patrick J. Kennedy
Residence Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard College
University of Virginia School of Law
Profession Politician, Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1951–1953
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 26, 2009) was the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. In office since November 1962, Kennedy was in his eighth full (and ninth overall) term 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 of all time. 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 was educated at Harvard College, where he was expelled for cheating on an exam but later readmitted, and the University of Virginia School of Law. His 1958 marriage to Virginia Joan Bennett would later end in divorce. He was a manager in his brother John's successful 1960 campaign for president, 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 John. He was seriously injured in an airplane crash in 1964 and suffered from lifelong back pain as a result. Kennedy was elected to a full six-year term in 1964 and was reelected in 1970, 1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000 and 2006. He died after losing a battle with brain cancer.
In the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident, the car Kennedy was driving ran off a bridge and plunged into water, resulting in the death of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and was given a suspended sentence; however, doubts about his account of the accident significantly damaged his chances of ever becoming President of the United States. Kennedy's one run for the office, in the 1980 presidential election, ended in a primary campaign loss to incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Kennedy is known for his oratorical power, with his 1968 eulogy for his brother Robert and his 1980 Democratic National Convention rallying cry for American liberalism being his best-known moments. Kennedy's heated rhetoric helped lead to the defeat of the 1987 Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination and usher in an era of intense political battles over federal judicial nominations. Kennedy's personal behavior became the subject of public ridicule in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but his 1992 marriage to Victoria Anne Reggie stabilized his life.
Kennedy was the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Due to his long history of public service he became known as "The Lion of the Senate". More than 300 bills that Kennedy wrote have been enacted into law, and he is known for his ability to work with Republicans and to find compromises among Senate members with disparate views. Kennedy played a major role in passing many pieces of legislation that have affected the lives of all Americans, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974, the COBRA Act of 1985, 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 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 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. During the 2000s, he was a leader of several failed efforts at immigration reform. Over the course of decades, Kennedy's major legislative goal has been enactment of universal health care, which he continued to work toward during the Obama administration. Since May 2008, Kennedy has been battling a malignant brain tumor, which has greatly limited his appearances in the Senate. Though he survived longer than doctors first expected, Kennedy passed away just before midnight on August 25, 2009 while at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
1 Early life, military service, and education
2 Marriage, family, and early career
3 United States Senator
3.1 First years and assassinations of two brothers
3.2 Chappaquiddick incident
3.4 1980 presidential campaign
3.6 Fall and rise
3.7 Carrying on
3.9 Illness and a new president
4 Committee assignments
5 Cultural and political image
6 Political positions
7 Awards and honors
11 External links
11.1 Official sites
11.2 Kennedy in his own words
11.3 Nonpartisan information