Ted Kennedy, Dead at 77. Obama “heartbroken”

SHARE Ted Kennedy, Dead at 77. Obama “heartbroken”
SHARE Ted Kennedy, Dead at 77. Obama “heartbroken”

WASHINGTON–Sen. Ted Kennedy, the “lion of the Senate,” and a member of the nation’s most famous political family, died Tuesday night at his home in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod. The Massachusetts Democrat was 77 and passed away after a battle with brain cancer.

The family put out a statement remembering one of the most influential senators in the history of the country, a brother of two slain giant figures, President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert Kennedy. He was the last surviving brother and the youngest of nine children of the storied political dynasty. His sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, died on Aug. 11.

“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,” the family said.

Kennedy’s endorsement helped President Obama at a critical time in his Democratic primary campaign. The president, vacationing at nearby Martha’s Vineyard, issued a long statement near 4:30 a.m. eastern time saying he and First Lady Michelle were “heartbroken” at the news. Obama will make a statement on Kennedy’s death at 8:30 a.m. eastern time from the Blue Heron Farm on the island.

Said Obama, “I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of

events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and

momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant

struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve profited as President from his

encouragement and wisdom.

An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a

great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the

greatest United States Senator of our time.”

click below for full statements

OBAMA STATEMENT

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_________________________________________________________________For Immediate

Release August 26, 2009

Statement from President Obama:

Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear

friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the

civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his

name and resulted from his efforts.

I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of

events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and

momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant

struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve profited as President from his

encouragement and wisdom.

An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a

great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the

greatest United States Senator of our time.

And the Kennedy family has lost their patriarch, a tower of strength and support

through good times and bad.

Our hearts and prayers go out to them today–to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his

children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.

##

FAMILY STATEMENT

From the family: “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.”

#####

Sen.Harry Reid Statement

Washington, DC–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on the passing of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy:

“The Kennedy family and the Senate family have together lost our patriarch. My thoughts, and those of the entire United States Senate, are with Vicki, Senator Kennedy’s children, his many nieces and nephews, and his entire family.

“It was the thrill of my lifetime to work with Ted Kennedy. He was a friend, the model of public service and an American icon.

“As we mourn his loss, we rededicate ourselves to the causes for which he so dutifully dedicated his life. Senator Kennedy’s legacy stands with the greatest, the most devoted, the most patriotic men and women to ever serve in these halls.

“Because of Ted Kennedy, more young children could afford to become healthy. More young adults could afford to become students. More of our oldest citizens and our poorest citizens could get the care they need to live longer, fuller lives. More minorities, women and immigrants could realize the rights our founding documents promised them. And more Americans could be proud of their country.

“Ted Kennedy’s America was one in which all could pursue justice, enjoy equality and know freedom. Ted Kennedy’s life was driven by his love of a family that loved him, and his belief in a country that believed in him. Ted Kennedy’s dream was the one for which the founding fathers fought and his brothers sought to realize.

“The liberal lion’s mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die.”

###

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