Senator Ted Kennedy, an advocate of numerous progressive causes, died last night at the age of 77. He was the last living Kennedy brother.
In terms of current political ramifications, he was a major advocate of healthcare reform. His death temporarily drops the Democrats below the 60 vote threshold. Before he died, he’d hoped to get the rules changed in Massachussets, so that a replacement pick could be expedited.
The NYT has a long obituary of “The Lion” of the Senate:
The death of Mr. Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer, was announced Wednesday morning in a statement by the Kennedy family, which was already mourning the death of the Senator’s sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver two weeks earlier.
“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 centre 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.”
Mr. Kennedy had been in precarious health since he suffered a seizure in May 2008. His doctors determined the cause had been a malignant glioma, a brain tumour that often carries a grim prognosis.
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