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Ted Kennedy

Birthdate: 22. February 1932
Date of death: 25. August 2009

Edward Moore Kennedy was an American politician who served in the United States Senate from Massachusetts for almost 47 years, from 1962 until his death in 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the third-longest-continuously-serving senator in United States history. For many years, Ted was the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family. He was also the last surviving, longest-living, and youngest son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. He was the youngest brother of John F. "Jack" Kennedy—the 35th President of the United States—and Senator Robert F. "Bobby" Kennedy, both victims of assassination, and the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.

Ted Kennedy was 30 years old when he first entered the Senate following a November 1962 special election in Massachusetts to fill the vacant seat previously held by his brother, John, who had taken office as the president. He was elected to a full six-year term in 1964 and was later re-elected seven more times. The Chappaquiddick incident in 1969 resulted in the death of his automobile passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and later received a two-month suspended sentence. The incident and its aftermath hindered his chances of ever becoming president. His only attempt, in the 1980 election, resulted in a Democratic primary campaign loss to incumbent President Jimmy Carter, who was later defeated in the general election by Republican opponent Ronald Reagan.

Kennedy was known for his oratorical skills. His 1968 eulogy for his brother Robert and his 1980 rallying cry for modern American liberalism were among his best-known speeches. He became recognized as "The Lion of the Senate" through his long tenure and influence. Kennedy and his staff wrote more than 300 bills that were enacted into law. Unabashedly liberal, Kennedy championed an interventionist government that emphasized economic and social justice, but he was also known for working with Republicans to find compromises among senators with disparate views. As such, Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the COBRA health insurance provision, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Mental Health Parity Act, the S-CHIP children's health program, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. During the 2000s, he led several unsuccessful immigration reform efforts. Over the course of his Senate career and continuing into the Barack Obama administration, Kennedy continued his efforts to enact universal health care, which he called the "cause of my life."

By the later years of his life, Kennedy had come to be viewed as a major figure and spokesman for American progressivism. In 2008, Kennedy was hospitalized after suffering a seizure and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, which limited his appearances in the Senate. He died of the disease at age 77 on August 25, 2009, at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

Quotes Ted Kennedy

„The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.“

—  Ted Kennedy
DNC Speech (2008), Context: There is a new wave of change all around us, and if we set our compass true, we will reach our destination — not merely victory for our Party, but renewal for our nation. And this November the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on. This last line references the last line of his DNC speech in 1980 where he said "the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

„Never say in grief you are sorry he's gone. Rather, say in thankfulness you are grateful he was here.“

—  Ted Kennedy
Remark originally made to Portland Mason shortly after the death of her father James Mason (circa late July or early August, 1994), later placed on his headstone; as quoted in "15 years after his death, film star finds rest" https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/1999/mar/11/features11.g21 by Dan Glaister, in The Guardian (10 March 1999)

„But don't you realize, that's where I sail.“

—  Ted Kennedy
On the Cape Wind Project, as quoted in Cape Wind : Money, Celebrity, Class, Politics, and the Battle for Our Energy Future on Nantucket Sound (2007) by Wendy Williams and Robert Whitcomb, and also in a book review of it in The New York Times (17 June 2007) http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/17/books/review/Sullivan2-t.html?ex=1189051200&en=f2d971ab27b37734&ei=5070

„I won't yield to anyone about guns in our society. I know enough about it.“

—  Ted Kennedy
Senate debate with Mitt Romney (1994). Cited by biography http://www.themonkeycage.org/2009/08/ted_kennedy.html

„Love is not an easy feeling to put into words. Nor is loyalty, or trust, or joy. But he was all of these. He loved life completely and he lived it intensely.“

—  Ted Kennedy
Eulogy http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/ekennedytributetorfk.html for Robert F. Kennedy at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York (8 June 1968)

„In fact, the legal system is in part responsible for their very size and growth. And too often when the individual finds himself in conflict with these forces, the legal system sides with the giant institution, not the small businessman or private citizen.“

—  Ted Kennedy
On big business and big government; speech before American Bar Association, New York (August 8, 1978), reported in Alan F. Pater, Jason R. Pate, What They Said in 1978 (1979), p. 168.

„From the windows of my office in Boston … I can see the Golden Stairs from Boston Harbor where all eight of my great-grandparents set foot on this great land for the first time. That immigrant spirit of limitless possibility animates America even today.“

—  Ted Kennedy
Attributed, Attributed to a 2007 Senate speech by Kathy Kiely, "Kennedy 'fashioned the modern day legal system of immigration' " http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090826/NEWS01/908260380/Kennedy++fashioned+the+modern+day+legal+system+of+immigration+, USA Today, 26 August 2009

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„I hope for an America where neither "fundamentalist" nor "humanist" will be a dirty word, but a fair description of the different ways in which people of good will look at life and into their own souls.“

—  Ted Kennedy
Speech on "Truth and Tolerance in America," Oct. 3, 1983, Lynchburg, Va. Cited by latimes.com http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-naw-ted-kennedy-quotes26-2009aug26,0,3918428.story, 26 August 2009

„What we have in the United States is not so much a health-care system as a disease-care system.“

—  Ted Kennedy
Attributed, 1994. Attributed without source by telegraph.co.uk http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6094226/Ted-Kennedy-quotes.html, 26 August 2009

„For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.“

—  Ted Kennedy
Concession speech in his campaign for nomination as the Democratic Presidential candidate against incumbent Jimmy Carter at the Democratic Convention in New York City (12 August 1980). This has sometimes been misquoted as "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."

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