Born: Brookline, Massachusetts, USA
Edward Moore Ted Kennedy (February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009) was an American politician and lawyer who served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts 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 was the fourth-longest-continuously-serving senator in United States history, having served there for almost 47 years. Ted Kennedy was the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family for many years, and 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. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, both victims of assassination, and the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.At age 30, Ted Kennedy first entered the Senate following a November 1962 special election to fill the vacant seat previously held by his brother, John, who was now 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 later lost the general election to Republican candidate 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. More than 300 bills that Kennedy and his staff wrote 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 childrens 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 Obama administration, Kennedy continued his efforts to enact universal health care, which he called the cause of my life.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 on August 25, 2009, at his Hyannis Port, Massachusetts home. During the later years of his life, Kennedy had come to be viewed as a major figure and spokesman for American progressivism.
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