The brain cancer finally caught up with him at age 77.
Kennedy was first elected to the Senate in 1962, at the age of 30, and his tenure there would span four decades.
A hardworking, well-liked politician who became the standard-bearer of his brothers’ liberal causes, his career was clouded by allegations of personal immorality and accusations that his family’s clout helped him avoid the consequences of an accident that left a young woman dead.
But for the younger members of the Kennedy clan, from his own three children to those of his brothers JFK and RFK, Ted Kennedy — once seen as the youngest and least talented in a family of glamorous overachievers — was both a surrogate father and the center of the family.
And certainly it was Ted Kennedy who bore many of the tragedies of the family — the violent deaths of four of his siblings, his son’s battle with cancer, and the death of his nephew John F. Kennedy Jr. in a plane crash.
He will be missed.