Senator Ted Kennedy died late Tuesday at the age of 77 at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. "Edward M. Kennedy -- the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply -- died Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port," said a family statement given out early Wednesday East Coast time. "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."
"Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy. For nearly 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. His ideas and ideals are stamped on scores of laws and reflected in millions of lives -- in seniors who know new dignity; in families that know new opportunity; in children who know education's promise; and in all who can pursue their dream in an America that is more equal and more just, including me. In the United States Senate, I can think of no one who engendered greater respect or affection from members of both sides of the aisle. His seriousness of purpose was perpetually matched by humility, warmth and good cheer. He battled passionately on the Senate floor for the causes that he held dear, and yet still maintained warm friendships across party lines. And that's one reason he became not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy. I personally 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 benefited as President from his encouragement and wisdom. His fight gave us the opportunity we were denied when his brothers John and Robert were taken from us: the blessing of time to say thank you and goodbye. The outpouring of love, gratitude and fond memories to which we've all borne witness is a testament to the way this singular figure in American history touched so many lives. For America, he was a defender of a dream. For his family, he was a guardian. 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. Today, our country mourns. We say goodbye to a friend and a true leader who challenged us all to live out our noblest values. And we give thanks for his memory, which inspires us still." (President Barack Obama)
"I was heartbroken to hear of Senator Ted Kennedy's passing and my deepest sympathies go out to Vicki, his children and the entire Kennedy family. I will always think of Senator Kennedy as the lion of the Senate. From his seat in the back of the beautiful Senate chamber, he used his powerful voice to speak out for the voiceless. He could always be counted on to champion justice, fairness and compassion — and to challenge all of us to do the same. Personally, I will miss Senator Kennedy's warm and engaging presence, his bellowing laughter and the way he reached out to all senators in friendship. No one will ever be able to fill his shoes, but we must honor his extraordinary legacy by continuing his life's work. The most fitting tribute we could give Senator Kennedy is to carry on his fight for a quality education for all our children, affordable health care that families can rely on, an economy that works for everyone and equal rights for all our citizens." (U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer)
SAN FRANCISCO – California Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) today issued the following statement regarding the death of United States Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts): “Like many Americans who share his principles and as someone who benefited from his efforts, I feel a deep personal sadness at the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. We have lost one of our greatest champions for universal healthcare, civil rights and education. We have lost a fierce warrior and an iconic voice for immigrants, women, the disabled and working families. He was the moral standard for generations of lawmakers, and his influence went far beyond Massachusetts, the halls of Congress, and even the borders of our nation. For decades, Ted Kennedy, like his brothers, ‘saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.’ It will take all of us to carry forward the torch that Senator Kennedy so proudly and courageously held for so many years. As we continue the work, the cause, the hope and the dream, his legacy lives forever. My thoughts go out to the Kennedy family and to all Americans on our common loss.”