Senator Edward “Ted“ Kennedy lost his battle with brain cancer on 25th August 2009 aged 77, after battling with the disease for over a year. He died shortly before midnight at the Kennedy residence in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
Ted Kennedy’s death came just two weeks after his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver passed away at the age of 88. The siblings were the last two remaining children of Joseph and Rose Kennedy, who raised a family devoted to politics or public service. The Kennedy clan witnessed more than its fair share of tragedies – former president John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy were both assasinated, whilst brother Joe Jr. perished in a plane crash.
Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May 2008. The Senator underwent surgery, which was deemed successful, yet his health continued to deteriorate. During President Obama’s inauguration lunch, he suffered a seizure and was hospitalised. According to his son, Kennedy survived much longer than doctors expected.
Health care reform was always high on Ted Kennedy’s agenda, as was championing equal rights and working wages. Though he never made it to US President, partly due to his involvement in the death of a young woman called Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969, Kennedy’s achievements were many. Shortly before his death, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civil award in the US – by President Obama.
ABC News quotes the Kennedy family statement, issued on 26th August: “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…He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it.”
Click here for more information on Ted Kennedy’s career.
Image attribution: Wikimedia File:Ted Kennedy, official photo portrait.jpg, flickr.com/photos/ 96005110@N00/2226149161/Tags: cancer