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Ted Kennedy dead at 77; the family statement

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Edward M. Kennedy, the third longest-serving senator in United States history, succumbed to brain cancer at his Hyannis Port, Mass., home late Tuesday night.

The liberal Democrat, who was elected to his brother John's unexpired U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts in 1962, was 77 years old and had been battling a malignant brain tumor since its discovery after a seizure in May 2008.

The surviving brother of three who served in the Senate had appeared in public only rarely in recent months and had not been to the Capitol since April, missing some crucial votes as well as President Obama's awarding him the Medal of Freedom at the White House.

Observers figured the end was near when Kennedy did not attend the recent funeral of his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who died at 88 on Aug. 11. Kennedy's memoir is set for publication next month.

Early this morning the family issued the following five-sentence statement:

Edward M. Kennedy – the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. 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.  

We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it’s hard to imagine any of them without him.

Funeral plans were pending.

Feel free to share your memories and thoughts on Kennedy's life and work below.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Associated Press
 
Comments () | Archives (9)

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Didn't this guy get really drunk and kill a woman when his car went into a river? And we are going to honor this guy? I don't think so.

i cant believe it, another great kennedy dies.

yes Arnold, he did.
I am sure you never did anything stupid when u were young, have always conducted yourself in a manner beyond reproach and never made a mistake you deeply regret, right?
I think he did a hell of a lot of good. You?
And yes, he will be honored. You?
didn't think so.

arnold, is that the only incident we should judge Mr. Kennedy by?

God Bless Ted Kennedy! He worked tirelessly for "justice for all"....the poor, the downtrodden, the weak. We are lucky to have had him working for all of us. He leaves very big shoes to fill.

Isn't there an old aphorism to the effect, "Of the dead, let only good be said." Maybe that's something that good taste would suggest should be applied in this case.

Some of my favorite moments of the 2008 Presidential Campaign was when Senator Kennedy endorsed and then campaigned for Barack Obama. You could tell that he loved working the crowd and more importantly, he played a huge role in securing Obama as our President to carry on his work. God Bless you Teddy for passing on the torch.

Let's invoke Senator Kennedy's spirit and get Heathcare Reform done the right way with a Public Option!

Yes, and he paid over and over again, both mentally, emotionally and in his career. When will we ever realize that we all have clay feet....and not to judge someone else before we judge ourselves. Ted Kennedy was the Lion who guided a family torn by death and pain and led them and the country on unceasingly. What pain the women in this family have born....death is their partner. I can never, nor can any American thank Ted Kennedy enough for all he and his family has done for the American people. This family could have just lounged and enjoyed and done nothing, but almost everyone of them has tried to make our land a brighter star.
This family truly has lived with the ideal that they were blessed and will give back. God bless you Ted and your family - all of them!

Ted Kennedy was a senator that some people did not agree with nor like. He was not so great with all the faults and baggage he carried. Where was the LET ONLY THE GOOD BE SAID when Toney Snow died?


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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