Both Republicans and Democrats mourn the death of the "easiest and most bipartisan" senator in the chamber. He was praised even by former Presidential candidate John McCain who called Kennedy, "the single most effective member of the Senate if you want to get results."
He assumed the senate seat from his brother john Kennedy in 1962. From being a supposed lightweight senator, he had become the single most effective and visionary senator in more than four decades.
He helped enact measures to protect civil and labor rights, expand healthcare, upgrade schools, increase student aid and contain the spread of nuclear weapons. "There's a lot to do," Kennedy told Reuters in 200
Kennedy also endorsed President Barack Obama for the presidency. His endorsement was seen as one of the turning points of the Obama campaign which eventually led to his victory.
In 1980 he ran for the Democratic party's presidential nomination but lost to then-President Jimmy Carter. After than defeat he devoted himself to his Senate career.
In May 28, 2009 issue of the Boston Globe he aired his reasons in seeking for reform in America's Health Care System, "I've benefited from the best of medicine, but I've also witnessed the frustration and outrage of patients and doctors alike as they face the challenges of a system that shortchanges millions of Americans," he wrote.
Tragedies dogged Kennedy throughout his life. They included a 1964 plane crash that damaged his spine and left him with persistent pain; bone cancer that cost son Teddy a leg; first wife Joan's battles with alcoholism that contributed to their divorce, and drug problems involving nephews, one of whom died of an overdose. His nephew, John Kennedy Jr., died in July 1999 when his small plane crashed into the ocean near Cape Cod.
In May 2008, Edward Kennedy collapsed at his Cape Cod home and was flown to hospital in Boston, where he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Brain cancer kills half its victims within a year.
Kennedy's illness kept him from attending the funeral of his sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a leading advocate of the mentally disabled, who died on August 11 at the age of 88.
To a great fellow who could have been one of the best Presidents of the United States... farewell and we hope that the health care reform you seek will be a reality. Your sacrifice am sure will not be put to waste.
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