Senator Edward M. Kennedy worked on his remarks before a Patient's Bill of Rights rally at the Capitol in 2001. (Courtesy of the NY Times)
I’d gone to bed early, but unable to go to sleep I turned on my TV at about 1:00 a.m. (CST) to learn that Ted Kennedy, the 77-year-old senator from Massachusetts died late Tuesday evening. By the time I went online, word of Kennedy’s death was all over the Internet. John M. Broder at the NY Times reports:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a son of one of the most storied families in American politics, a man who knew triumph and tragedy in near-equal measure and who will be remembered as one of the most effective lawmakers in the history of the Senate, died Tuesday night. He was 77.
The death was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family.
“Edward M. Kennedy – the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply – died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port,” the statement said. “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.”
Mr. Kennedy had been in precarious health since he suffered a seizure in May 2008 at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass. His doctors determined the cause had been a malignant glioma, a brain tumor that often carries a grim prognosis.