Ted Kennedy, United States Senator, Died at 77

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Dead, Edward Moore “Ted” Kennedy on August 25, 2009 at the age of 77, he was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party.

Born in St. Margaret’s Hospital on February 22, 1932 in the Dorchester section of Boston, Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy was the youngest of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald, who were members of prominent Irish-American families in Boston, and who constituted one of the wealthiest families in the nation. His elder siblings included Joe, Jr., John, Eunice, and Robert.

Ted attended ten different schools by the age of eleven, with his education suffering as a result.

At age seven, he received his First Communion from Pope Pius XII in the Vatican.

He spent sixth and seventh grades in the Fessenden School, where he was a mediocre student, and eighth grade at Cranwell Preparatory School, both in Massachusetts.

His parents were affectionate toward him as the youngest child, but also compared him unfavourably with his older brothers.

Between the ages of eight and sixteen, Ted suffered the traumas of Rosemary’s failed lobotomy and the deaths of Joe Jr. and Kathleen in plane crashes.

Like his father and brothers before him, Ted attended Harvard College, and in his spring semester was assigned to the athlete-oriented Winthrop House, where his brothers had also lived.

He was an offensive and defensive end on the freshman football team, with his play characterized by his large size and fearless style.

In his first semester, Kennedy and his friends arranged to copy answers from another student during the final examination for a science class.

At the end of his second semester in May 1951, anxious about maintaining his eligibility for athletics for the next year, he had a friend take his place at a Spanish language examination.

Ted’s mother, Rose, was the member of the family who enforced a high level of academic performance in her children.

Both parents, however, discouraged idleness and emphasized the importance of healthy competition and success.

Dinner was often the staging ground for various quizzes on politics, history, and literature. Discussion and debate were highly encouraged.

This taught Ted at an early age to immerse himself in his education and worldly pursuits.

“If I wanted to contribute something worthwhile to the conversation, I would have to talk about a book I was reading or an interesting place I had visited,” he later said about his time at the Kennedy dinner table.

Ted Kennedy campaigned for his brother, John F. Kennedy, in the 1960 presidential race.

In 1962, shortly after his brother’s victory, Ted was elected to John’s former U.S. Senate seat. At the age of 30, he became a representative for the state of Massachusetts. In 1963, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

A year later, Ted was in a plane crash and spent weeks in the hospital recovering from a back injury and internal bleeding.

The injuries resulted in chronic pain, from which he would suffer throughout his life.

Although he was unable to campaign actively for re-election for a full term in 1964, he was swept back into office by a landslide vote.

Kennedy was re-elected to the Senate in 1970 despite the scandal, but the incident dogged his subsequent political career and discouraged him from running for president in 1972 and 1976.

In 1980, however, Kennedy decided to launch a presidential campaign against Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter.

Kennedy felt Carter’s difficult first term threatened to give control of the government to the Republicans, and the senator was unafraid of publicly criticizing the president.


 

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