POLITICAL ICON AND OBAMA SUPPORTER, TED KENNEDY DIES AT 77 OF BRAIN CANCER
(CNN) — Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, the patriarch of the first family of Democratic politics, died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77.
Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, known as the “Lion of the Senate,” died Tuesday at 77.
“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,” a family statement said. “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.”
President Obama learned about Kennedy’s death at 2 a.m. Wednesday, according to a senior administration official. Obama later called Kennedy’s widow to offer condolences.
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.
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.
Achmat Dangor, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa, said Kennedy had been “a champion of democracy and civil rights.”
“He made his voice heard in the struggle against apartheid at a time when the freedom struggle was not widely supported in the West. We remain grateful for his role,” the foundation said.
news reports Nelson Mandela spoke on Kennedy’s death saying,”he [Kennedy] made his voice heard in the struggle against Apartheid at a time when it wasnt widely supported.”
ONE YEAR AGO, SENATOR KENNEDY ADDRESSED THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN DENVER.