Edward Moore Kennedy


United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
November 7, 1962 – August 25, 2009
Preceded by Benjamin A. Smith
Succeeded by TBD

16th United States Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1971
Leader Mike Mansfield
Preceded by Russell B. Long
Succeeded by Robert Byrd

Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by James Eastland
Succeeded by Strom Thurmond

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resource
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Orrin Hatch
Succeeded by Nancy Kassebaum Baker

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
In office
January 3 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Jim Jeffords
Succeeded by Jim Jeffords
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Jim Jeffords
Succeeded by Judd Gregg
In office
January 4, 2007 – August 25, 2009
Preceded by Mike Enzi
Succeeded by TBD

Born February 22, 1932
Boston, Massachusetts
Died August 25, 2009
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic
Spouse Joan Bennett Kennedy
Victoria Reggie Kennedy
Children Kara Anne Kennedy
Edward Kennedy, Jr.
Patrick J. Kennedy
Residence Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard College
University of Virginia School of Law
Profession Politician, Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic
Website kennedy.senate.gov
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1951–1953

Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. In office from November 1962 until his death, Kennedy served nine terms in the Senate. At the time of his death, he was the second most senior member of the Senate, after Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and the third-longest-serving senator in U.S. history. He was best known as one of the most outspoken and effective Senate proponents of progressive causes and bills. For many years the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family, he was the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy, both victims of assassinations, and the father of Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy.

Kennedy was born in Boston and raised in Massachusetts, New York, Florida, and England. He attended Harvard College and served in the U.S. Army. He graduated from Harvard in 1956 and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1959. His 1958 marriage to Virginia Joan Bennett produced three children and ended in divorce in 1982. He was a manager in his brother John's successful 1960 campaign for president. He then worked as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts. Kennedy entered the Senate in a 1962 special election to fill the seat once held by his brother John. He was seriously injured in an airplane crash in 1964 and suffered from lifelong back pain as a result. Kennedy was elected to his first six-year term in 1964 and was reelected seven more times.

The 1969 Chappaquiddick incident, which resulting in the death of passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, significantly damaged his chances of becoming President of the United States; his 1980 presidential election ended in a primary campaign loss to incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Kennedy was known for his oratorical power: his 1968 eulogy for his brother Robert and his 1980 Democratic National Convention rallying cry for American liberalism being among his best-known moments.

Kennedy was the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. He became known as "The Lion of the Senate", due to his long history and influence in the legislature. More than 300 bills that Kennedy and his staff wrote have been enacted into law. He was known for his ability to work with Republicans and to find compromises among Senators with disparate views. Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws that have affected the lives of all Americans, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act in 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Mental Health Parity Act in 1996 and 2008, the State Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. In the 2000s, he was a leader of several unsuccessful efforts at immigration reform. Over decades in office, Kennedy's major legislative goal had been enactment of universal health care, which he continued to work toward during the Obama administration.

Kennedy battled a malignant brain tumor first diagnosed in May 2008, which greatly limited his appearances in the Senate; though he survived longer than doctors first predicted, he died just before midnight on August 25, 2009, at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

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