Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Ted Kennedy dies age 77

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May 2008 has died. He was 77 years old.

Labelled the "Lion of the Senate", Kennedy became a member of the Senate in 1962 to replace his brother when he resigned to become president, and was re-elected seven times. He has been an active supporter of current President Barack Obama. The Kennedy family announced his death in a brief statement in the early hours of Wednesday.

Edward Kennedy was the only one of four brothers to die a natural death. His brother Joseph was killed in an air crash in World War II, and both President John F Kennedy and presidential hopeful Robert F Kennedy were assassinated.

Tributes to the senator have already been pouring in. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan says she is "terribly saddened; Ronnie and Ted could always find common ground and they had great respect." Senator Harry Reid said the US Senate had 'lost its patriarch'. Governor Schwarzenegger said, "Teddy inspired our country through his dedication and his devotion to a life of public service." Meanwhile the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Kennedy would be mourned "on every continent". The former Prime Minister Tony Blair also praised the senator and said his prayers were with Ted Kennedy's family.

A statement from the Kennedy family said. "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."

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