Ted Kennedy
American politician; Senior Democratic Senator from Massachusetts
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. He was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and was the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history, having served there for almost 47 years. As the most prominent living member of the Kennedy family for many years, he was also the last surviving son of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. ; the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F.
Biography
Ted Kennedy's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Ted Kennedy from around the web
Tim Scott: Every Senator Should Read Coretta Scott King
Huffington Post - 19 days
WASHINGTON — The only African-American Republican in the U.S. Senate had a message Wednesday for his colleagues after they shut down Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for quoting Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow: Listen to what Coretta Scott King had to say. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)  forced Warren to stop speaking and sit down Tuesday night by invoking the rarely used Rule XIX. Warren tried to quote a 1986 letter King wrote about Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), now President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general. McConnell, noting that the rule bars senators from impugning the character of other senators, barred Warren from reading King’s harsh words against Sessions. That apparently did not sit well with Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), although he voted with his colleagues to silence Warren. In a remarkable floor speech, Scott explained why King’s letter was important, and why he voted against Warren, anyway. “There is no doubt in my mind that the letter writ ...
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Potential Trump Attorney General Created A Muslim Registry During The Bush Administration
Huffington Post - 3 months
WASHINGTON ― One of Donald Trump’s most eye-popping campaign promises was a proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States. He later tried to amend his comments as a plan to “suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time it’s proven that vetting mechanisms have been put in place.”  Trump adviser Kris Kobach is ready to help Trump implement this proposal. Kobach is currently the secretary of state of Kansas and is reportedly under consideration to be the next U.S. attorney general. Kobach told Reuters this week that he is already looking at putting together a proposal to create a registry of immigrants from Muslim countries for Trump’s review.  Although he’s best-known for his hard-line stances on immigration and voting rights, Kobach’s previous and less-noticed experience makes him uniquely suited for this job: He was the man who designed and implemented a Muslim registry while working in President George W. Bush’s administr ...
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Can't Just Sleep Off The Election
Huffington Post - 3 months
I'm standing on Pennsylvania Avenue watching Donald Trump's Inauguration Parade. As he waves to the crowd, I try to shout, but my voice is drowned out by the screaming masses around me. I struggle to speak, but things start spinning and then I'm falling. I jolt up in bed, covered in sweat. Gradually, my heart stops pounding and the grogginess in my head clears. Partly conscious, I assume it was just a bad dream. But suddenly, it hits me. Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. I breathe deeply, sink back into the pillows and close my eyes again. Like most pollsters and pundits, I was blindsided by Trump's victory, especially as a practical Republican who voted for Hillary Clinton. As I anticipate more sleepless nights worrying about our country's future, I sink back for another 40 winks. Soon I begin to dream again. It's now the spring of 2017 and I'm in Washington, D.C., flying above the Capitol Building. I pass through the dome and find myself hovering ...
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No, Donald Trump Did Not Win A Medal From The NAACP
Huffington Post - 4 months
WASHINGTON — A photograph of Donald Trump, Muhammad Ali and Rosa Parks that the founder of Trump’s “diversity coalition” hailed as evidence the Republican nominee won an “NAACP medal” for “helping America’s inner cities” was actually taken at an awards ceremony organized by a business associate with an ethnic grievance. William Fugazy, a politically well-connected businessman who later pleaded guilty to perjury, gave the awards to Trump and 79 other people, most of them white, to protest the awarding of “medals of liberty” to a group of 12 recent immigrants that included a Chinese-born architect, a Costa Rica-born astronaut, a leading expert on the psychology of race, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, but no “Irish, Italian, or Polish” people. Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime attorney, adviser and campaign surrogate, posted the photo on Twitter earlier this week of Trump, Parks and Ali, “receiving NAACP medals for helping America’s inner cities. A man for ALL people! ...
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What Makes A Democracy Work? Where Do We Learn To Engage Civilly?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
When I listened to President Obama's final State of the Union, I was struck by these two particular but related themes. First, for our Democracy to work, we need people to work together to solve problems and address social issues. We can't all be shouting at each other, calling each other names and refusing to cooperate with those with whom we have disagreements. The President observed that he was disappointed that in seven years in office, he could not bring civility to political discourse. Second, the President spoke to the need to improve voting, both by increasing the number of people who vote and insuring that gerrymandering and money do not diminish these votes. Voting hurdles for vulnerable populations are, sadly, real. In short, the President was speaking about how we can animate the first three words of our Constitution: We the People... The following day, by total coincidence, I landed at the newly opened and remarkable Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, located ...
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Scheer Intelligence: Tom Dine on Israel and Peace in the Middle East
Huffington Post - about 1 year
This week, Robert Scheer sits down with Tom Dine, currently the senior policy advisor at Israel Policy Forum, but best known as the head of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), a powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization from 1980-1993. Robert and Tom discuss some of the highs and lows in a 53-year-long career in public service as well as why Tom considers going to war in Iraq in 2003 one of the worst decisions in the history of American foreign policy. They talk about why the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 was a turning point in the peace process from which the region still has not recovered. Tom Dine also reveals his role in negotiations between Syria and Israel in recent years and how close the parties came to an agreement on major issues. Adapted from KCRW.com Click, Subscribe, Share Read the full interview below Robert Scheer: Hello, I'm Robert Scheer, and welcome to Scheer Intelligence, my new podcast in collaboration with KCRW. My g ...
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#Flawless Favorites: The Inspirational Reads of 2015
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Since the launch of the holiday season we have been writing about the hope and progress in mental health, from the groundbreaking Emotion Revolution Summit hosted by Lady Gaga and Yale and the creation of a mental health roadmap for New York City, to the important initiatives being spearheaded by various nonprofits and healthcare organizations around the nation. It was also the year that we, and many others, continued to focus on the discrimination and judgement that too many in our society continue to bring to mental health issues. At the Flawless Foundation, we believe that changing the language, discussion, and portrayal of mental health is a crucial part of the innovation to ensure better brain healthcare for all. Many public figures have chosen to speak out this year about their own personal experiences with mental illness, and we applaud their courage and candor. Earlier this season, I too felt called to share more publicly about my own history with mental health challenges , ...
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Bernie and Immigration: Reclaiming the Concept of "Open Borders"
Huffington Post - about 1 year
To hear Bernie Sanders speak, you'd think that merely espousing the notion of "open borders" immediately pegs one as some kind of right wing libertarian zealot. In a Vox interview, the Democratic presidential aspirant declared that open borders was equivalent to a "Koch brothers proposal." Influential Charles and David Koch have been prominent donors to the Republican Party in recent years, and have sponsored libertarian initiatives. However, these two infamous members of Bernie's "billionaire class" are also supportive of immigration reform. Wait a second, that's a little odd: a self-styled Vermont "socialist" is taking what sounds to be a more hard-line posture on the border question than a bunch of Republican donors? When pressed on whether a democratic socialist should support "a more international view" on immigration, Sanders held to his guns: "that's a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States." When pressed again on whether relaxing immi ...
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Lion of the Senate: When Ted Kennedy Rallied the Democrats in a GOP Congress
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The following is an excerpt from "Lion of the Senate:When Ted Kennedy Rallied the Democrats in a GOP Congress" by Nick Littlefield and David Nexon. A week after the State of the Union address, Kennedy returned from Hyannis Port to the Senate for the first time since the death of his mother. Daschle and Gephardt scheduled a breakfast meeting at 8:00 a.m. the next day for the joint Democratic leadership of the Senate and House to discuss the Democrats' agenda. Kennedy was invited to arrive at 8:30 a.m. to participate in the discussion of the minimum wage increase. As with everything else on Capitol Hill, the majority party controls the congressional perks, including assignment of meeting rooms. Meeting rooms made available to the minority tend to be small, and this windowless room was packed. Members crowded around a large conference table; on one side sat Senator Daschle, and on the other Congressman Gephardt. Staffers were crushed together behind their members around the edge of t ...
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The Education Inequality Struggle
Huffington Post - about 1 year
This has been a hard year for poor children and children of color in a gridlocked and cantankerous Congress. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replacing the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted after gutting a strong federal role in education policy designed to protect these children and jeopardizing their opportunity for a fair and adequate education to prepare them for work in our globalizing economy. Over the past 50 years, under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, too many states violated their responsibility to serve their poor and non-White children equitably, did not comply with the law and misused huge amounts of the funds intended for poor children for other purposes. With the loss of federal accountability in the new Act, I hope we will not see the mistakes of the past repeated and poor children fall further behind. In 1969 the Children’s Defense Fund’s parent body, the Washington Research Project and the Legal Defense Fund, conducted a thorough study of ...
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What Is in a Name?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In this season of turbulence, Americans have been thrust into a national discussion on racism. As a result, Americans are increasingly opening their eyes to the negative symbolism undergirding many of our institutions. This has caused an examination of the names, insignias and icons of an unequal and unjust past. Through the use of symbols, society makes a statement concerning its past, present and future values. In the process, the U.S. reinforces to the world--and to ourselves--its priorities and aspirations. We reach back into history and present the living with our immortal heroes, and provide past evidence of our enduring beliefs, just as we offer lessons to future generations on the type of nation we hope to become. One outgrowth of the debate over racial injustice has been the effort to rename monuments with racially offensive names, faces or connotations, and to replace symbols that have reflected a painful, objectionable and often unacknowledged legacy. A most poten ...
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Back to the Chalkboard: The Soft Patience for High Expectations
Huffington Post - about 1 year
"Too many American children are segregated into schools without standards, shuffled from grade-to-grade because of their age, regardless of their knowledge. This is discrimination, pure and simple -- the soft bigotry of low expectations.'' -- George W. Bush, accepting Republican nomination for president in 2000. The candidate's sentiment, first uttered during a September 1999 campaign speech to the Latin Business Association in Los Angeles, bore the unmistakable ring of a speechwriter's rhetoric, a fine turn of language by a hired political wordsmith. Yet it resonated with this reporter taking notes at the time, a reporter who'd once asked the chief academic officer of Miami-Dade County's school board to explain the discrepancy in test scores between suburban and inner-city schools. It was a harsh fact, he said, that the socio-economic status of any school's students had a direct relationship to their test performance. This, in a county where a federal judge had long bef ...
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VIOLENCE in California, Colorado, Paris. Guess What They Have in Common?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
LISTEN HERE: By Mark Green Matalin and Shrum debate different situations in which radicalized terrorists kill with assault weapons -- Muslim, Christian, home-grown, foreign-born. Debate now "frozen," but would a 2016 Democrat running and winning on overhaul of gun laws be able to shift culture and then Congress? On San Bernardino. We hear: A) Obama say gun-related deaths in U.S. unparalleled around world; B) Clinton stresses "no fly-no buy;" C) Ryan says we shouldn't rush to judgment, but focus on mental health. Mary says some other countries do have comparable mass killings; Calif. had strong anti-gun laws, problem is lunatics, not guns, since some shootings due to movies or video games... and Ted Kennedy was once on a terror watch list! Bob disagrees. States with weak laws undermine those with strong ones, and mental health initiatives sound fine "but what are we going to do, involuntarily commit people because we've read their Facebook post?" Aside from some ...
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ted Kennedy
    THIRTIES
  • 2009
    Using another metric, Kennedy had a lifetime average liberal score of 88.7 percent, according to a National Journal analysis that places him ideologically as the third-most liberal senator of all those in office in 2009.
    More Details Hide Details A 2004 analysis by political scientists Joshua D. Clinton of Princeton University and Simon Jackman and Doug Rivers of Stanford University examined some of the difficulties in making this kind of analysis, and found Kennedy likely to be the 8th-to-15th-most liberal Senator during the 108th Congress. The Almanac of American Politics rates congressional votes as liberal or conservative on the political spectrum, in three policy areas: economic, social, and foreign. For 2005–2006, Kennedy's average ratings were as follows: the economic rating was 91 percent liberal and percent conservative, the social rating was 89 percent liberal and 5 percent conservative, and the foreign rating was 96 percent liberal and percent conservative. Various interest groups gave Kennedy scores or grades as to how well his votes aligned with the positions of each group. The American Civil Liberties Union gave him an 84 percent lifetime score as of 2009. During the 1990s and 2000s, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood typically gave Kennedy ratings of 100 percent, while the National Right to Life Committee typically gave him a rating of less than 10 percent. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Kennedy a lifetime rating of 100 percent through 2002, while the National Rifle Association gave Kennedy a lifetime grade of 'F' (failing) as of 2006.
    He died on August 25, 2009, at his Hyannis Port, Massachusetts home.
    More Details Hide Details By the later years of his life, he had come to be viewed as a major figure and spokesman for American progressivism.
    Shortly before his death, Kennedy had written to Democratic Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts legislature to change state law to allow an appointee to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy, for a term expiring upon the special election. (Kennedy had been instrumental in the prior 2004 alteration of this law to prevent Governor Mitt Romney from appointing a Republican senator should John Kerry's presidential campaign succeed.) The law was amended, and on September 24, 2009, Paul G. Kirk, former Democratic National Committee chairman and former aide to Kennedy, was appointed to occupy the Senate seat until the completion of the special election.
    More Details Hide Details
    Fifteen months after his original diagnosis, Kennedy succumbed to his disease on August 25, 2009, at age 77 at his home in Hyannis Port.
    More Details Hide Details He was survived by his former wife Joan, his wife Vicki, his sister Jean, his three children, two stepchildren, four grandchildren, in-laws Edmund and Doris Reggie, and many nieces and nephews. In a statement, Kennedy's family thanked "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 said that Kennedy's death marked the "passing of an extraordinary leader" and that he and First Lady Michelle Obama were "heartbroken" to learn of Kennedy's death, while Vice President Biden said "today we lost a truly remarkable man," and that Kennedy "changed the circumstances of tens of millions of Americans". Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts Governor and Kennedy's opponent in the 1994 senate race, called Kennedy "the kind of man you could like even if he was your adversary" and former First Lady Nancy Reagan said she was "terribly saddened". She went on, "Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family.... I will miss him." Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the President pro tempore of the Senate, issued a statement on Kennedy's death in which he said "My heart and soul weeps at the loss of my best friend in the Senate, my beloved friend, Ted Kennedy." (Byrd had broken down on the Senate floor and cried uncontrollably when Kennedy's cancer diagnosis was made public the previous year.) Upon his death, his sister Jean is the only one still living of the nine Kennedy siblings.
    At the end of July 2009, Kennedy was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    More Details Hide Details He could not attend the ceremony to receive this medal, and attended a private service but not the public funeral when his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver died at age 88 in mid-August. By the end, Kennedy was in a wheelchair and had difficulty speaking, but consistently said that "I've had a wonderful life."
    By June 2009 Kennedy had not cast a Senate vote in three months, and his health had forced him to retreat to Massachusetts, where he was undergoing another round of chemotherapy.
    More Details Hide Details In his absence, premature release of his health committee's expansive plan resulted in a poor public reception. Kennedy's friend Chris Dodd had taken over his role on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, but Republican senators and other observers said that the lack of Kennedy's physical presence had resulted in less consultation with them and was making successful negotiation more difficult. Democrats also missed Kennedy's ability to smooth divisions on the health proposals. Kennedy did cut a television commercial for Dodd, who was struggling early on in his 2010 re-election bid. In July, HBO began showing a documentary tribute to Kennedy's life, Teddy: In His Own Words. A health care reform bill was voted out of the committee with content Kennedy favored, but still faced a long, difficult process before having a chance at becoming law.
    However, by spring 2009, Kennedy's tumor had spread and treatments clearly were not going to cure it, although this was not disclosed publicly.
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    On March 4, 2009, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown announced that Kennedy had been granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his work in the Northern Ireland peace process, and for his contribution to UK–US relations, although the move caused some controversy in the UK due to his connections with Gerry Adams of the Irish republican political party Sinn Féin.
    More Details Hide Details Later in March, a bill reauthorizing and expanding the AmeriCorps program was renamed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act by Senator Hatch in Kennedy's honor. Kennedy threw the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park before the Boston Red Sox season opener in April, echoing what his grandfather "Honey Fitz" – a member of the Royal Rooters – had done to open the park in 1912. Even when his illness prevented him from being a major factor in health plan deliberations, his symbolic presence still made him one of the key senators involved.
    On January 20, 2009, Kennedy attended Barack Obama's presidential inauguration in Washington, but then suffered a seizure at the luncheon immediately afterwards.
    More Details Hide Details He was taken via wheelchair from the Capitol building and then by ambulance to Washington Hospital Center. The following morning, he was released from the hospital to his home in Washington, as doctors attributed the episode to "simple fatigue". As the 111th Congress began, Kennedy dropped his spot on the Senate Judiciary Committee to focus all his attentions on health care issues, which he regarded as "the cause of my life". He saw the characteristics of the Obama administration and the Democratic majorities in Congress as representing the third and best great chance for universal health care, following the lost 1971 Nixon and 1993 Clinton opportunities, and as his last big legislative battle. Kennedy made another surprise appearance in the Senate to break a Republican filibuster against the Obama stimulus package. As spring arrived, Kennedy appeared on Capitol Hill more frequently, although staffers often did not announce his attendance at committee meetings until they were sure Kennedy was well enough to appear.
  • 2008
    In May 2008, soon-to-be Republican presidential nominee John McCain said, "Kennedy is a legendary lawmaker and I have the highest respect for him.
    More Details Hide Details When we have worked together, he has been a skillful, fair and generous partner." Republican Governor of California and Kennedy relative Arnold Schwarzenegger described "Uncle Teddy" as "a liberal icon, a warrior for the less fortunate, a fierce advocate for health-care reform, a champion of social justice here and abroad" and "the rock of his family". At the time of Kennedy's death, sociologist and Nation board member Norman Birnbaum wrote that Kennedy had come to be viewed as the "voice" and "conscience" of American progressivism.
    On September 26, 2008, Kennedy suffered a mild seizure while at his home in Hyannis Port, for which he was examined and released from hospital on the same day.
    More Details Hide Details Doctors believed that a change in his medication triggered the seizure. Kennedy relocated to Florida for the winter, continuing his treatments, sailing a lot, and staying in touch with legislative matters via telephone. In his absence, many senators wore blue "Tedstrong" bracelets.
    Though additionally ill from an attack of kidney stones and against the advice of some associates, Kennedy insisted on appearing during the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention on August 25, 2008, where a video tribute to him was played.
    More Details Hide Details Introduced by his niece, Caroline Kennedy, the senator said, "It is so wonderful to be here. Nothing – nothing – is going to keep me away from this special gathering tonight." He then delivered a speech to the delegates (which he had to memorize, as his impaired vision left him unable to read a teleprompter) in which, reminiscent of his speech at the 1980 Democratic National Convention, he said, "this November, the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans. So, with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on." The dramatic appearance and speech electrified the convention audience, as Kennedy vowed that he would be present to see Obama inaugurated.
    Doctors initially told Kennedy the tumor was inoperable, but he looked around for other opinions and decided on the most aggressive and exhausting course of treatment possible. On June 2, 2008, Kennedy underwent brain surgery at Duke University Medical Center in an attempt to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
    More Details Hide Details The 3½-hour operation, conducted by Dr. Allan Friedman while Kennedy was conscious to minimize any permanent neurological effects, was deemed successful in its goals. Kennedy left the hospital a week later to begin a course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Opinions varied regarding Kennedy's prognosis: the surgery typically only extended survival time by a matter of months, but sometimes people lived for years. The operation and follow-up treatments left Kennedy thinner, prone to seizures, weak and short on energy, and hurt his balance. Kennedy made his first post-illness public appearance on July 9, when he surprised the Senate by showing up to supply the added vote to break a Republican filibuster against a bill to preserve Medicare fees for doctors.
    On May 17, 2008, Kennedy suffered a seizure, and then another one as he was rushed from the Kennedy Compound to Cape Cod Hospital and then by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
    More Details Hide Details Within days, doctors announced that Kennedy had a malignant glioma, a type of cancerous brain tumor. The grim diagnosis brought reactions of shock and prayer from many senators of both parties and from President Bush.
    Kennedy gave an endorsement to Obama on January 28, 2008, despite appeals by both Clintons not to do so.
    More Details Hide Details In a move that was seen as a symbolic passing of the torch, Kennedy said that it was "time again for a new generation of leadership," and compared Obama's ability to inspire with that of his fallen brothers. In return Kennedy gained a commitment from Obama to make universal health care a top priority of his administration if elected. Kennedy's endorsement was considered among the most influential that any Democrat could get, and raised the possibility of improving Obama's vote-getting among unions, Hispanics, and traditional base Democrats. It dominated the political news, and gave national exposure to a candidate who was still not well known in much of the country, as the Super Tuesday primaries across the nation approached.
    Kennedy then remained neutral as the 2008 Democratic nomination battle between Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama intensified, as his friend Chris Dodd was also running.
    More Details Hide Details After the initial caucuses and primaries had been split between the two and Dodd had withdrawn, Kennedy became dissatisfied with the tone of the Clinton campaign and what he saw as racially tinged remarks by Bill Clinton.
    Kennedy initially stated that he would support John Kerry again should he run for president in 2008, but in January 2007, Kerry said he would not.
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  • 2006
    In April 2006, Kennedy was selected by Time as one of "America's 10 Best Senators"; the magazine noted that he had "amassed a titanic record of legislation affecting the lives of virtually every man, woman and child in the country" and that "by the late 1990s, the liberal icon had become such a prodigious cross-aisle dealer that Republican leaders began pressuring party colleagues not to sponsor bills with him".
    More Details Hide Details
    Kennedy again easily won re-election to the Senate in 2006, winning 69 percent of the vote against Republican language school owner Kenneth Chase, who suffered from very poor name recognition.
    More Details Hide Details
    Also in 2006, Kennedy released a political history entitled America Back on Track.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 2006, Kennedy released a children's book from the view of his dog Splash, My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D.C.
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  • 2005
    Kennedy was chair of the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Refugees, and in 2005, Kennedy teamed with Republican Senator John McCain on the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act.
    More Details Hide Details The "McCain-Kennedy bill" did not reach a Senate vote, but provided a template for further attempts at dealing comprehensively with legalization, guest worker programs, and border enforcement components. Kennedy returned again with the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, which was sponsored by an ideologically diverse, bipartisan group of senators and had strong support from the Bush administration. The bill aroused furious grassroots opposition among talk radio listeners and others as an "amnesty" program, and despite Kennedy's last-minute attempts to salvage it, failed a cloture vote in the Senate. Kennedy was philosophical about the defeat, saying that it often took several attempts across multiple Congresses for this type of legislation to build enough momentum for passage.
  • 2004
    After Bush won a second term in the 2004 general election, Kennedy continued to oppose him on Iraq and many other issues.
    More Details Hide Details However, Kennedy sought to partner with Republicans again on the matter of immigration reform in the context of the ongoing United States immigration debate.
    In the 2004 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Kennedy campaigned heavily for fellow Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and lent his chief of staff, Mary Beth Cahill, to the Kerry campaign.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy's appeal was effective among blue collar and minority voters, and helped Kerry stage a come-from-behind win in the Iowa caucuses that propelled him on to the Democratic nomination.
  • 2003
    It passed in late 2003, and led Kennedy to again say he had been betrayed by the Bush administration.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2002
    However, Kennedy strongly opposed the Iraq War from the start, and was one of 23 senators voting against the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002.
    More Details Hide Details As the Iraqi insurgency grew in subsequent years, Kennedy pronounced that the conflict was "Bush's Vietnam." In response to losses of Massachusetts service personnel to roadside bombs, Kennedy became vocal on the issue of Humvee vulnerability, and co-sponsored enacted 2005 legislation that sped up production and Army procurement of up-armored Humvees. Despite the strained relationship between Kennedy and Bush over No Child Left Behind spending, the two attempted to work together again on extending Medicare to cover prescription drug benefits. Kennedy's strategy was again doubted by other Democrats, but he saw the proposed $400 billion program as an opportunity that should not be missed. However, when the final formulation of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act contained provisions to steer seniors towards private plans, Kennedy switched to opposing it.
  • 2001
    In reaction to the attacks, Kennedy was a supporter of the American-led 2001 overthrow of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.
    More Details Hide Details
    Kennedy was in his Senate offices meeting with First Lady Laura Bush when the September 11, 2001, attacks took place.
    More Details Hide Details Two of the airplanes involved had taken off from Boston, and in the following weeks, Kennedy telephoned each of the 177 Massachusetts families who had lost members in the attacks. He pushed through legislation that provided healthcare and grief counseling benefits for the families, and recommended the appointment of his former chief of staff Kenneth Feinberg as Special Master of the government's September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Kennedy maintained an ongoing bond with the Massachusetts 9/11 families in subsequent years.
  • 2000
    During the long, disputed post-presidential election battle in Florida in 2000, Kennedy supported Vice President Al Gore's legal actions.
    More Details Hide Details After the bitter contest was over, many Democrats in Congress did not want to work with incoming President George W. Bush. Kennedy, however, saw Bush as genuinely interested in a major overhaul of elementary and secondary education, Bush saw Kennedy as a potential major ally in the Senate, and the two partnered together on the legislation. Kennedy accepted provisions governing mandatory student testing and teacher accountability that other Democrats and the National Education Association did not like, in return for increased funding levels for education. The No Child Left Behind Act was passed by Congress in May and June 2001 and signed into law by Bush in January 2002. Kennedy soon became disenchanted with the implementation of the act, however, saying for 2003 that it was $9 billion short of the $29 billion authorized. Kennedy said, "The tragedy is that these long overdue reforms are finally in place, but the funds are not," and accused Bush of not living up to his personal word on the matter. Other Democrats concluded that Kennedy's penchant for cross-party deals had gotten the better of him. The White House defended its spending levels given the context of two wars going on.
    Kennedy had an easy time with his re-election to the Senate in 2000, as Republican lawyer and entrepreneur Jack E. Robinson III was sufficiently damaged by his past personal record that Republican state party officials refused to endorse him.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy got 73 percent of the general election vote, with Robinson splitting the rest with Libertarian Carla Howell.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    On July 16, 1999, tragedy struck the Kennedy family again when a Piper Saratoga light aircraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.
    More Details Hide Details The accident killed its pilot John F. Kennedy, Jr., and also his wife and sister-in-law. As patriarch, Ted consoled his extended family along with President Clinton at the public memorial service. He paraphrased William Butler Yeats by saying of his nephew: "We dared to think, in that other Irish phrase, that this John Kennedy would live to comb gray hair, with his beloved Carolyn by his side. But like his father, he had every gift but length of years." Ted now served as a role model for Maria Shriver, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Joseph Patrick Kennedy II, and other family members. The Boston Globe wrote of the changed role: "It underscored the evolution that surprised so many people who knew the Kennedys: Teddy, the baby of the family, who had grown into a man who could sometimes be dissolute and reckless, had become the steady, indispensable patriarch, the one the family turned to in good times and bad."
    In the trial after the 1999 impeachment of Bill Clinton, Kennedy voted to acquit Clinton on both charges, saying "Republicans in the House of Representatives, in their partisan vendetta against the President, have wielded the impeachment power in precisely the way the framers rejected, recklessly and without regard for the Constitution or the will of the American people."
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  • 1998
    Kennedy was a stalwart backer of President Clinton during the 1998 Lewinsky scandal, often trying to cheer up the president when he was gloomiest and getting him to add past Kennedy staffer Greg Craig to his defense team, which helped improve the president's fortunes.
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  • 1997
    In 1997, Kennedy was the prime mover behind the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which used increased tobacco taxes to fund the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance coverage for children in the U.S. since Medicaid began in the 1960s.
    More Details Hide Details Senator Hatch and First Lady Hillary Clinton also played major roles in SCHIP passing.
  • 1996
    Kennedy worked with Republican Senator Nancy Kassebaum to create and pass the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in 1996, which set new marks for portability of insurance and confidentiality of records.
    More Details Hide Details The same year, Kennedy's Mental Health Parity Act forced insurance companies to treat mental health payments the same as others with respect to limits reached.
    In 1996, Kennedy secured an increase in the minimum wage law, a favorite issue of his; there would not be another increase for ten years.
    More Details Hide Details Following the failure of the Clinton health care plan, Kennedy went against his past strategy and sought incremental measures instead.
  • 1995
    Kennedy's role as a liberal lion in the Senate came to the fore in 1995, when the Republican Revolution took control and legislation intending to fulfill the Contract with America was coming from Newt Gingrich's House of Representatives.
    More Details Hide Details Many Democrats in the Senate and the country overall were depressed, but Kennedy rallied forces to combat the Republicans. By the beginning of 1996, the Republicans had overreached; most of the Contract had failed to pass the Senate; and the Democrats could once again move forward with legislation, almost all of it coming out of Kennedy's staff.
    Kennedy's mother Rose died in January 1995 at the age of 104.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy intensified practice of his Catholicism from then on, often attending Mass several times a week.
  • 1994
    In the 1994 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, Kennedy faced his first serious challenger, the young, telegenic, and very well-funded Mitt Romney.
    More Details Hide Details Romney ran as a successful entrepreneur and Washington outsider with a strong family image and moderate stands on social issues, while Kennedy was saddled not only with his recent past but the 25th anniversary of Chappaquiddick and his first wife Joan seeking a renegotiated divorce settlement. By mid-September 1994, polls showed the race to be even. Kennedy's campaign ran short on money, and belying his image as endlessly wealthy, he was forced to take out a second mortgage on his Virginia home. Kennedy responded with a series of attack ads, which focused both on Romney's shifting political views and on the treatment of workers at a paper products plant owned by Romney's Bain Capital. Kennedy's new wife Vicki proved to be a strong asset in campaigning. Kennedy and Romney held a widely watched late October debate without a clear winner, but by then Kennedy had pulled ahead in polls and stayed ahead afterward. In the November election, despite a very bad outcome for the Democratic Party nationally, Kennedy won re-election by a 58 percent to 41 percent margin, the closest re-election race of his career.
    During 1994 Kennedy became the first senator with a home page on the World Wide Web; the product of an effort with the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, it helped counter the image of Kennedy as old and out of touch.
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    In 1994, Kennedy's strong recommendation of his former Judiciary Committee staffer Stephen Breyer played a role in Clinton appointing Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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  • 1993
    Kennedy floor-managed successful passage of Clinton's National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 that created the AmeriCorps program, and despite reservations supported the president on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
    More Details Hide Details On the issue Kennedy cared most about, national health insurance, he supported but was not much involved in formation of the Clinton health care plan, which was run by First Lady Hillary Clinton and others. It failed badly and damaged the prospects for such legislation for years to come.
    With no presidential ambitions left, Kennedy formed a good relationship with Democratic President Bill Clinton upon the latter taking office in 1993, despite his having initially backed former fellow Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas in the 1992 Democratic presidential primaries.
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  • 1992
    David Mazzone on July 3, 1992, in a civil ceremony at Kennedy's home in McLean, Virginia.
    More Details Hide Details She would gain credit with stabilizing his personal life and helping him resume a productive career in the Senate.
    Kennedy and Reggie continued their relationship and he was devoted to her two children, Curran and Caroline. They became engaged in March 1992, and were married by Judge A.
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  • 1991
    In December 1991, the William Kennedy Smith rape trial was held; it was nationally televised and the most watched until the O. J. Simpson murder case three years later.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy's testimony at the trial seemed relaxed, confident, and forthcoming, and helped convince the public that his involvement had been peripheral and unintended. Smith was acquitted.
    Meanwhile, at a June 17, 1991, dinner party, Kennedy saw Victoria Anne Reggie, a Washington lawyer at Keck, Mahin & Cate, a divorced mother of two, and the daughter of an old Kennedy family ally, Louisiana judge Edmund Reggie.
    More Details Hide Details They began dating and by September were in a serious relationship. In a late October speech at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Kennedy sought to begin a political recovery, saying: "I am painfully aware that the criticism directed at me in recent months involves far more than disagreements with my positions... It involves the disappointment of friends and many others who rely on me to fight the good fight. To them I say, I recognize my own shortcomings — the faults in the conduct of my private life. I realize that I alone am responsible for them, and I am the one who must confront them."
    Along with Bork, the other most contentious Supreme Court nomination in United States history has been the one for Clarence Thomas. When the Thomas hearings began in September 1991, Kennedy pressed Thomas on his unwillingness to express an opinion about Roe v. Wade, but the nomination appeared headed for success.
    More Details Hide Details But when the sexual harassment charges by Anita Hill broke the following month, and the nomination battle dominated public discourse, Kennedy was hamstrung by his past reputation and the ongoing developments in the William Kennedy Smith case. He said almost nothing until the third day of the Thomas–Hill hearings, and when he did it was criticized by Hill supporters for being too little, too late. Biographer Adam Clymer rates Kennedy's silence during the Thomas hearings as the worst moment of his Senate career. Writer Anna Quindlen said "Kennedy let us down because he had to; he was muzzled by the facts of his life." On the day before the full Senate vote, Kennedy gave an impassioned speech against Thomas, declaring that the treatment of Hill had been "shameful" and that "to give the benefit of the doubt to Judge Thomas is to say that Judge Thomas is more important than the Supreme Court." He then voted against the nomination. Thomas was confirmed by a 52–48 margin, the narrowest ever for a successful nomination.
    On Easter weekend 1991, Kennedy was at a get-together at the family's Palm Beach, Florida, estate when, restless and maudlin after reminiscing about his brother-in-law, he left for a late-night visit to a local bar, getting his son Patrick and nephew William Kennedy Smith to accompany him.
    More Details Hide Details Patrick Kennedy and Smith returned with women they met there, Michelle Cassone and Patricia Bowman. Cassone said that Ted Kennedy subsequently walked in on her and Patrick, dressed only in a nightshirt and with a weird look on his face. Smith and Bowman went out on the beach, where they had sex that he said was consensual and she said was rape. The local police made a delayed investigation; soon Kennedy sources were feeding the press with negative information about Bowman's background and several mainstream newspapers broke a taboo by publishing her name. The case quickly became a media frenzy. While not directly implicated in the case, Kennedy became the frequent butt of jokes on The Tonight Show and other late-night television programs. Time magazine said Kennedy was being perceived as a "Palm Beach boozer, lout and tabloid grotesque" while Newsweek said Kennedy was "the living symbol of the family flaws."
    Kennedy pushed on, but even his legislative successes, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which expanded employee rights in discrimination cases, came at the cost of being criticized for compromising with Republicans and Southern Democrats.
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  • 1990
    The death from cancer of brother-in-law Stephen Edward Smith in August 1990 left Kennedy emotionally bereft at the loss of a close family member and troubleshooter.
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    In February 1990, Michael Kelly published his long, thorough profile "Ted Kennedy on the Rocks" in GQ magazine.
    More Details Hide Details It captured Kennedy as "an aging Irish boyo clutching a bottle and diddling a blonde," portrayed him as an out-of-control Regency rake, and brought his behavior to the forefront of public attention.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1989
    In late November 1989, Kennedy traveled to see first-hand the newly fallen Berlin Wall; he spoke at John-F.-Kennedy-Platz, site of the famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech in 1963, and said "Emotionally, I just wish my brother could have seen it."
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy's personal life came to dominate his image. In 1989 the European paparazzi stalked him on a vacation in Europe and photographed him having sex on a motorboat.
  • 1988
    In 1988 Kennedy co-sponsored an amendment to the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibits discrimination in the rental, sale, marketing, and financing of the nation's housing; the amendment strengthened the ability of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to enforce the Act and expanded the protected classes to include disabled persons and families with children.
    More Details Hide Details After prolonged negotiations during 1989 with Bush chief of staff John H. Sununu and Attorney General Richard Thornburgh to secure Bush's approval, he directed passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Kennedy had personal interest in the bill due to his sister Rosemary's condition and his son's lost leg, and he considered its enactment one of the most important successes of his career. In the late 1980s Kennedy and Hatch staged a prolonged battle against Senator Jesse Helms to provide funding to combat the AIDS epidemic and provide treatment for low-income people affected; this would culminate in passage of the Ryan White Care Act.
    During the 1988 presidential election, Kennedy supported the eventual Democratic nominee, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, from the start of the campaign.
    More Details Hide Details In the fall, Dukakis lost to George H. W. Bush, but Kennedy won re-election to the Senate over Republican Joseph D. Malone in the easiest race of his career. Kennedy remained a powerful force in the Senate.
    After again considering a candidacy for the 1988 presidential election, influenced by his personal difficulties and family concerns, and content with remaining in the Senate, in December 1985 Kennedy publicly cut short any talk that he might run.
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  • 1987
    When the September 1987 Judiciary Committee hearings began, Kennedy challenged Bork forcefully on civil rights, privacy, women's rights, and other issues.
    More Details Hide Details Bork's own demeanor hurt him, and the nomination was defeated both in committee and the full Senate. The tone of the Bork battle changed the way Washington worked – with controversial nominees or candidates now experiencing all-out war waged against them – and the ramifications of it were still being felt two decades later.
    One of Kennedy's biggest battles in the Senate came with Reagan's July 1987 nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy saw a possible Bork appointment as leading to a dismantling of civil rights law that he had helped put into place, and feared Bork's originalist judicial philosophy. Kennedy's staff had researched Bork's writings and record, and within an hour of the nomination – which was initially expected to succeed – Kennedy went on the Senate floor to announce his opposition: The incendiary rhetoric of what became known as the "Robert Bork's America" speech enraged Bork supporters, who considered it slanderous, and worried some Democrats as well. But the Reagan administration was unprepared for the assault, and the speech froze some Democrats from supporting the nomination and gave Kennedy and other Bork opponents time to prepare the case against him.
  • 1986
    Following the 1986 congressional elections, the Democrats regained control of the Senate and Kennedy became chair of the Labor and Public Welfare Committee.
    More Details Hide Details By now Kennedy had become what colleague Joe Biden termed "the best strategist in the Senate," who always knew when best to move legislation. Kennedy continued his close working relationship with ranking Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, and they were close allies on many health-related measures.
    Despite their many political differences, Kennedy and Reagan had a good personal relationship, and with the administration's approval Kennedy traveled to the Soviet Union in 1986 to act as a go-between in arms control negotiations with reformist Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
    More Details Hide Details The discussions were productive, and Kennedy also helped gain the release of a number of Soviet Jewish refuseniks, including Anatoly Shcharansky. Although Kennedy was an accomplished legislator, his personal life was troubled during this time. His weight fluctuated wildly, he drank heavily at times – although not when it would interfere with his Senate duties – and his cheeks became blotchy. Kennedy later acknowledged, "I went through a lot of difficult times over a period in my life where drinking may have been somewhat of a factor or force." He chased women frequently, and also was in a series of more serious romantic relationships but did not want to commit to anything long-term. He often caroused with fellow Senator Chris Dodd; twice in 1985 they were in drunken incidents in Washington restaurants, with one involving unwelcome physical contact with a waitress. In 1987 Kennedy and a young female lobbyist were surprised in the back room of a restaurant in a state of partial undress.
    Upon returning, Kennedy became a leader in the push for economic sanctions against South Africa; collaborating with Senator Lowell Weicker, he secured Senate passage, and the overriding of Reagan's veto, of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986.
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  • 1985
    Kennedy staged a tiring, dangerous, and high-profile trip to South Africa in January 1985.
    More Details Hide Details He defied both the apartheid government's wishes and militant anti-white AZAPO demonstrators by spending a night in the Soweto home of Bishop Desmond Tutu and also visited Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned black leader Nelson Mandela.
  • 1984
    Kennedy's staff drew up detailed plans for a candidacy in the 1984 presidential election that he considered, but with his family opposed and his realization that the Senate was a fully satisfying career, in late 1982 he decided not to run.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy campaigned hard for Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale and defended vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro from criticism over being a pro-choice Catholic, but Reagan was re-elected in a landslide.
  • 1983
    A 1983 memorandum from KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov to General Secretary Yuri Andropov noted this stance and asserted that Kennedy, through former Senator John Tunney's discussions with Soviet contacts, had suggested that U.S.-Soviet relations might be improved if Kennedy and Andropov could meet in person to discuss arms control issues and if top Soviet officials, via Kennedy's help, were able to address the American public through the U.S. news media.
    More Details Hide Details Andropov was unimpressed by the idea.
  • 1982
    Kennedy easily defeated Republican businessman Ray Shamie to win re-election in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Senate leaders granted him a seat on the Armed Services Committee, while allowing him to keep his other major seats despite the traditional limit of two such seats. Kennedy became very visible in opposing aspects of the foreign policy of the Reagan administration, including U.S. intervention in the Salvadoran Civil War and U.S. support for the Contras in Nicaragua, and in opposing Reagan-supported weapons systems, including the B-1 bomber, the MX missile, and the Strategic Defense Initiative. Kennedy became the Senate's leading advocate for a nuclear freeze and was a critic of Reagan's confrontational policies toward the Soviet Union.
  • 1981
    In January 1981, Ted and Joan Kennedy announced they were getting a divorce. The proceedings were generally amicable, and she received a reported $4 million settlement when the divorce was granted in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year, Kennedy created the Friends of Ireland organization with Senator Daniel Moynihan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill to support initiatives for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1980
    The 1980 election saw the Republicans capture not just the presidency but control of the Senate as well, and Kennedy was in the minority party for the first time in his career.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy did not dwell upon his presidential loss, but instead reaffirmed his public commitment to American liberalism. He chose to become the ranking member of the Labor and Public Welfare Committee rather than of the Judiciary Committee, which he would later say was one of the most important decisions of his career. Kennedy became a committed champion of women's issues and of gay rights, and established relationships with select Republican senators to block Reagan's actions and preserve and improve the Voting Rights Act, funding for AIDS treatment, and equal funding for women's sports under Title IX. To combat being in the minority, he worked long hours and devised a series of hearings-like public forums to which he could invite experts and discuss topics important to him. Kennedy could not hope to stop all of Reagan's reshapings of government, but was often nearly the sole effective Democrat battling him.
    Although Carter now had enough delegates to clinch the nomination, Kennedy carried his campaign on to the 1980 Democratic National Convention in August in New York, hoping to pass a rule there that would free delegates from being bound by primary results and open the convention.
    More Details Hide Details This move failed on the first night of the convention, and Kennedy withdrew. On the second night, August 12, Kennedy delivered the most famous speech of his career. Drawing on allusions to and quotes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Alfred Lord Tennyson to say that American liberalism was not passé, he concluded with the words: The Madison Square Garden audience reacted with wild applause and demonstrations for half an hour. On the final night, Kennedy arrived late after Carter's acceptance speech and while he shook Carter's hand, he failed to raise Carter's arm in the traditional show of party unity. Carter's difficulty in securing Kennedy supporters during the election campaign was a contributory factor that led to his defeat in November by Ronald Reagan.
    In the January 1980 Iowa caucuses, which initiated the primaries season, Carter demolished Kennedy by a 59–31 percent margin.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy's fundraising immediately declined and his campaign had to downsize, but he remained defiant, saying "Now we'll see who is going to whip whose what." Nevertheless, Kennedy lost three New England contests. Kennedy did form a more coherent message about why he was running, saying at Georgetown University: "I believe we must not permit the dream of social progress to be shattered by those whose premises have failed." However, concerns over Chappaquiddick and issues related to personal character prevented Kennedy from gaining the support of many people who were disillusioned with Carter. During a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago, Kennedy had to wear a bullet-proof vest due to assassination threats, and hecklers yelled "Where's Mary Jo?" at him. In the key March 18 primary in Illinois, Kennedy failed to gain the support of Catholic voters, and Carter crushed him, winning 155 of 169 delegates.
    Kennedy finally decided to seek the Democratic nomination in the 1980 presidential election by launching an unusual, insurgent campaign against the incumbent Carter, a member of his own party.
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    His one attempt, in the 1980 presidential election, resulted in a Democratic primary campaign loss to incumbent President Jimmy Carter.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy was known for his oratorical skills. His 1968 eulogy for his brother Robert and his 1980 rallying cry for modern American liberalism were among his best-known speeches. He became recognized as "The Lion of the Senate" through his long tenure and influence. More than 300 bills that Kennedy and his staff wrote were enacted into law. Unabashedly liberal, Kennedy championed an interventionist government emphasizing economic and social justice, but was also known for working with Republicans to find compromises between senators with disparate views. Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws, including laws addressing immigration, cancer research, health insurance, apartheid, disability discrimination, AIDS care, civil rights, mental health benefits, children's health insurance, education and volunteering. During the 2000s, he led several unsuccessful immigration reform efforts. Over the course of his Senate career and continuing into the Obama administration, Kennedy continued his efforts to enact universal health care, which he called the "cause of my life."
  • 1979
    Kennedy formally announced his campaign on November 7, 1979, at Boston's Faneuil Hall.
    More Details Hide Details He had already received substantial negative press from a rambling response to the question "Why do you want to be President?" during an interview with Roger Mudd of CBS News broadcast a few days earlier. The Iranian hostage crisis, which began on November 4, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which began on December 27, prompted the electorate to rally around the president and allowed Carter to pursue a Rose Garden strategy of staying at the White House, which kept Kennedy's campaign out of the headlines. Kennedy's campaign staff were disorganized and Kennedy was initially an ineffective campaigner. The Chappaquiddick incident emerged as a more significant issue than the staff had expected, with several newspaper columnists and editorials criticizing Kennedy's answers on the matter.
    By August 1979, when Kennedy decided to run, polls showed him with a 2-to-1 advantage over Carter, and Carter's approval rating slipped to 19 percent.
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    During spring and summer 1979, as Kennedy deliberated whether to run, Carter was not intimidated despite his 28 percent approval rating, saying publicly: "If Kennedy runs, I'll whip his ass."
    More Details Hide Details Carter later asserted that Kennedy's constant criticism of his policies was a strong indicator that Kennedy was planning to run for the presidency. Labor unions urged Kennedy to run, as did some Democratic party officials who feared that Carter's unpopularity could result in heavy losses in the 1980 congressional elections.
  • 1978
    A midsummer 1978 poll had shown Democrats preferring Kennedy over Carter by a 5-to-3 margin.
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    Kennedy and labor compromised and made the requested changes, but broke with Carter in July 1978 when he would not commit to pursuing a single bill with a fixed schedule for phasing-in comprehensive coverage.
    More Details Hide Details Frustrated by Carter's budgetary concerns and political caution, in a December 1978 speech on national health insurance at the Democratic midterm convention, Kennedy said regarding liberal goals overall that "sometimes a party must sail against the wind" and in particular should provide health care as "a basic right for all, not just an expensive privilege for the few." In May 1979, Kennedy proposed a new bipartisan universal national health insurance bill—choice of competing federally regulated private health insurance plans with no cost sharing financed by income-based premiums via an employer mandate and individual mandate, replacement of Medicaid by government payment of premiums to private insurers, and enhancement of Medicare by adding prescription drug coverage and eliminating premiums and cost sharing. In June 1979, Carter proposed more limited health insurance reform—an employer mandate to provide catastrophic private health insurance plus coverage without cost sharing for pregnant women and infants, federalization of Medicaid with extension to all of the very poor, and enhancement of Medicare by adding catastrophic coverage. Neither plan gained any traction in Congress, and the failure to come to agreement represented the final political breach between the two. (Carter wrote in 1982 that Kennedy's disagreements with Carter's proposed approach "ironically" thwarted Carter's efforts to provide a comprehensive health-care system for the country. In turn, Kennedy wrote in 2009 that his relationship with Carter was "unhealthy" and that "Clearly President Carter was a difficult man to convince – of anything.")
    He became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1978, by which time he had amassed a wide-ranging Senate staff of a hundred.
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    During the 1970s, Kennedy also showed interest in nuclear disarmament, and as part of his efforts in this field even visited Hiroshima in January 1978 and gave a public speech to that effect at Hiroshima University.
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  • 1977
    As a candidate, Carter had proposed health care reform that included key features of Kennedy's national health insurance bill, but in December 1977, President Carter told Kennedy his bill must be changed to preserve a large role for private insurance companies, minimize federal spending (precluding payroll tax financing), and be phased-in so as to not interfere with Carter's paramount domestic policy objective—balancing the federal budget.
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    Kennedy visited China on a goodwill mission in late December 1977, meeting with leader Deng Xiaoping and eventually gaining permission for a number of Mainland Chinese nationals to leave the country; in 1978, he also visited the Soviet Union and Brezhnev and dissidents there again.
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    He held Health and Scientific Research Subcommittee hearings in March 1977 that led to public revelations of extensive scientific misconduct by contract research organizations, including Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories.
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    Kennedy and his wife Joan separated in 1977, although they still staged joint appearances at some public events.
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  • 1976
    Kennedy was up for Senate re-election in 1976; he defeated a primary challenger angry at his support for school busing in Boston, then won the general election with 69 percent of the vote.
    More Details Hide Details The Carter administration years were difficult for Kennedy; he had been the most important Democrat in Washington ever since his brother Robert's death, but now Carter was, and Kennedy at first did not have a full committee chairmanship with which to wield influence. Carter in turn sometimes resented Kennedy's status as a political celebrity. Despite generally similar ideologies, their priorities were different. Kennedy expressed to reporters that he was content with his congressional role and viewed presidential ambitions as almost far-fetched.
    Kennedy was again much talked about as a contender in the 1976 U.S. presidential election, with no strong front-runners among the other possible Democratic candidates.
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  • 1974
    In September 1974, Kennedy announced that for family reasons he would not run in the 1976 election, declaring that his decision was "firm, final, and unconditional."
    More Details Hide Details The eventual Democratic nominee, Jimmy Carter, built little by way of a relationship with Kennedy during his primary campaign, the convention, or the general election campaign.
    Kennedy had initially opposed busing schoolchildren across racial lines, but grew to support the practice as it became a focal point of civil rights efforts. After federal judge W. Arthur Garrity ordered the Boston School Committee in 1974 to racially integrate Boston's public schools via busing, Kennedy made a surprise appearance at a September 1974 anti-busing rally in City Hall Plaza to express the need for peaceful dialogue and was met with extreme hostility.
    More Details Hide Details The predominantly white crowd yelled insults about his children and hurled tomatoes and eggs at him as he retreated into the John F. Kennedy Federal Building and went so far as to push against one of its glass walls and break it.
    In April 1974, Kennedy travelled to the Soviet Union, where he met with leader Leonid Brezhnev and advocated a full nuclear test ban as well as relaxed emigration, gave a speech at Moscow State University, met with Soviet dissidents, and secured an exit visa for famed cellist Mstislav Rostropovich.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy's Subcommittee on Refugees and Escapees continued to focus on Vietnam, especially after the Fall of Saigon in 1975.
    In the wake of the Watergate scandal, Kennedy pushed campaign finance reform; he was a leading force behind passage of the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974, which set contribution limits and established public financing for presidential elections.
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    In April 1974, Kennedy and Mills introduced a bill for near-universal national health insurance with benefits identical to the expanded Nixon plan, both of which were criticized by labor and senior citizen organizations because of their substantial cost sharing. In August 1974, after Nixon's resignation and President Ford's call for health insurance reform, Mills tried to advance a compromise based on Nixon's plan, but gave up when the conservative half of his committee instead backed the American Medical Association's limited voluntary tax credit plan.
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    In February 1974, President Nixon proposed more comprehensive health insurance reform—an employer mandate to offer private health insurance and replacement of Medicaid by state-run health insurance plans available to all with income-based premiums and cost sharing.
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  • 1973
    In 1973, Kennedy's son Edward Kennedy, Jr., was discovered to have chondrosarcoma; his leg was amputated and he underwent a long, difficult, experimental two-year drug treatment.
    More Details Hide Details The case brought international attention both among doctors and in the general media, as did the young Kennedy's return to the ski slopes half a year later. Son Patrick was suffering from severe asthma attacks. The pressure of the situation mounted on Joan Kennedy, who several times entered facilities for alcoholism and emotional strain and was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic accident.
  • 1972
    At the 1972 Democratic National Convention McGovern repeatedly tried to recruit Kennedy as his vice presidential running mate, but was turned down.
    More Details Hide Details When McGovern's choice of Thomas Eagleton stepped down soon after the convention, McGovern again tried to get Kennedy to take the nod, again without success. McGovern instead chose Kennedy's brother-in-law Sargent Shriver.
    Once George McGovern was near clinching the Democratic nomination in June 1972, various anti-McGovern forces tried to get Kennedy to enter the contest at the last minute, but he declined.
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    Chappaquiddick had greatly damaged Kennedy's future presidential prospects and he had declared, shortly after the incident, that he would not be a candidate in the 1972 U.S. presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details Nevertheless, polls in 1971 suggested he could win the nomination if he tried, and Kennedy gave some thought to running. In May of that year he decided not to, saying he needed "breathing time" to gain more experience and to take care of the children of his brothers and that in sum, "It feels wrong in my gut." Nevertheless, in November 1971, a Gallup Poll still had him in first place in the Democratic nomination race with 28 percent.
    In February 1972, Kennedy flew to Bangladesh and delivered a speech at the University of Dhaka, where a killing rampage had begun a year earlier.
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    Following Republican Richard Nixon's victory in November, Kennedy was widely assumed to be the front-runner for the 1972 Democratic nomination.
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  • 1971
    In December 1971, Kennedy strongly criticized the Nixon administration's support for Pakistan and its ignoring of "the brutal and systematic repression of East Bengal by the Pakistani army".
    More Details Hide Details He traveled to India and wrote a report on the plight of the 10 million Bengali refugees.
    In October 1971, Kennedy made his first speech about The Troubles in Northern Ireland: he said that "Ulster is becoming Britain's Vietnam", demanded that British troops leave the northern counties, called for a united Ireland, and declared that Ulster Unionists who could not accept this "should be given a decent opportunity to go back to Britain" (a position he backed away from within a couple of years).
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy was harshly criticized by the British and Ulster unionists, and he formed a long political relationship with Irish Social Democratic and Labour Party founder John Hume. In scores of anti-war speeches, Kennedy opposed President Richard Nixon's policy of Vietnamization, calling it "a policy of violence that means more and more war".
    He also played a leading role, with Senator Jacob Javits, in the creation and passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971.
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    In February 1971, President Nixon proposed health insurance reform—an employer mandate to offer private health insurance, federalization of Medicaid, and support for health maintenance organizations.
    More Details Hide Details Hearings on national health insurance were held in 1971, but no bill had the support of House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee chairmen Wilbur Mills and Russell Long. Kennedy sponsored and helped pass the limited Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973.
    In January 1971, Kennedy lost his position as Senate Majority Whip when he lost the support of several members and was defeated by Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, 31–24.
    More Details Hide Details He would later tell Byrd that the defeat was a blessing, as it allowed him to focus more on issues and committee work, where his best strengths lay and where he could exert influence independently from the Democratic party apparatus, and began a decade as chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee.
  • 1970
    Congressman Patrick Kennedy brought a copy of a national health insurance bill his father had introduced in 1970 as a gift for the president.
    More Details Hide Details Patrick Kennedy then laid a note on his father's grave that said, "Dad, the unfinished business is done." (Patrick's earlier decision not to seek re-election meant that in January 2011, a 64-year-long period in which a Kennedy held Federal elective office came to an end, but it resumed with the November 2012 election of Ted's great-nephew, Joseph P. Kennedy III, to the House. Democratic control of Kennedy's Senate seat was also regained following Brown's 2012 loss to Elizabeth Warren.) Political scientists gauge ideology in part by comparing the annual ratings by the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) with the ratings by the American Conservative Union (ACU). Kennedy had a lifetime liberal 90 percent score from the ADA through 2004, while the ACU awarded Kennedy a lifetime conservative rating of 2 percent through 2008.
    Kennedy easily won re-election to another term in the Senate in November 1970 with 62 percent of the vote against underfunded Republican candidate Josiah Spaulding, although he received about 500,000 fewer votes than in 1964.
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    In August 1970, Kennedy introduced a bipartisan bill for universal national health insurance with no cost sharing, paid for by payroll taxes and general federal revenue.
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    A grand jury on Martha's Vineyard conducted a two-day investigation in April 1970 but issued no indictment, after which Boyle made his inquest report public.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy deemed its conclusions "not justified." Questions about the Chappaquiddick incident generated a large number of articles and books over the next several years.
  • 1969
    On the night of July 18, 1969, Kennedy was on Martha's Vineyard's Chappaquiddick Island at a party he gave for the "Boiler Room Girls," a group of young women who had worked on his brother Robert's presidential campaign the year before.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy left the party, driving a 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 with one of the women, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, and later drove off Dike Bridge into the Poucha Pond inlet, a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island. Kennedy escaped the overturned vehicle, and, by his description, dove below the surface seven or eight times, vainly attempting to reach Kopechne. Ultimately, he swam to shore and left the scene. He contacted authorities the next morning, but Kopechne's body had already been discovered. On July 25, Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and was given a sentence of two months in jail, suspended. That night, he gave a national broadcast in which he said, "I regard as indefensible the fact that I did not report the accident to the police immediately," but denied driving under the influence of alcohol and denied any immoral conduct between him and Kopechne. Kennedy asked the Massachusetts electorate whether he should stay in office or resign; after getting a favorable response in messages sent to him, Kennedy announced on July 30 that he would remain in the Senate and run for re-election the next year.
    In January 1969, Kennedy defeated Louisiana Senator Russell B. Long by a 31–26 margin to become Senate Majority Whip, the youngest person to attain that position.
    More Details Hide Details While this further boosted his presidential image, he also appeared conflicted by the inevitability of having to run for the position. The reluctance was in part due to the danger; Kennedy reportedly observed, "I know that I'm going to get my ass shot off one day, and I don't want to." Indeed, there were a constant series of death threats made against Kennedy for much of the rest of his career.
  • OTHER
  • 1968
    At the end of 1968, Kennedy had joined the new Committee for National Health Insurance at the invitation of its founder, United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther. In May 1970, Reuther died and Senator Ralph Yarborough, chairman of the full Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee and its Health subcommittee, lost his primary election, propelling Kennedy into a leadership role on the issue of national health insurance.
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    By some reports, he also negotiated the October 1968 marital contract between Jacqueline Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis.
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    At the chaotic 1968 Democratic National Convention in August, Mayor of Chicago Richard J. Daley and some other party factions feared that Hubert Humphrey could not unite the party, and so encouraged Ted Kennedy to make himself available for a draft.
    More Details Hide Details The 36-year-old Kennedy was seen as the natural heir to his brothers, and "Draft Ted" movements sprang up from various quarters and among delegates. Thinking that he was only being seen as a stand-in for his brother and that he was not ready for the job himself, and getting an uncertain reaction from McCarthy and a negative one from Southern delegates, Kennedy rejected any move to place his name before the convention as a candidate for the nomination. He also declined consideration for the vice-presidential spot. George McGovern remained the symbolic standard-bearer for Robert's delegates instead. After the deaths of his brothers, Ted Kennedy took on the role of a surrogate father for his 13 nephews and nieces.
    Ted initially advised his brother Robert against challenging the incumbent President Johnson for the Democratic nomination in the 1968 presidential election. Once Eugene McCarthy's strong showing in the New Hampshire primary led to Robert's presidential campaign starting in March 1968, Ted recruited political leaders for endorsements to his brother in the Western states.
    More Details Hide Details Ted was in San Francisco as his brother Robert won the crucial California primary on June 4, 1968; and then after midnight, Robert was shot in Los Angeles and died a day later. Ted Kennedy was devastated by this death, as he was closest to Robert among those in the Kennedy family; Kennedy aide Frank Mankiewicz said of seeing Ted at the hospital where Robert lay mortally wounded: "I have never, ever, nor do I expect ever, to see a face more in grief." Ted Kennedy delivered a eulogy at Robert's funeral, which included the oft-quoted:
    By the time of a January 1968 trip to Vietnam, Kennedy was disillusioned by the lack of U.S. progress, and suggested publicly that the U.S. should tell South Vietnam, "Shape up or we're going to ship out."
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  • 1965
    He was a leader in pushing through the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended a quota system based upon national origin and which, despite Kennedy's predictions, would have a profound effect on the demographic makeup of the United States.
    More Details Hide Details He played a role in creation of the National Teachers Corps. Following in the Cold Warrior path of his fallen brother, Kennedy initially said he had "no reservations" about the expanding U.S. role in the Vietnam War, acknowledging that it would be a "long and enduring struggle". Kennedy held hearings on the plight of refugees in the conflict, which revealed that the U.S. government had no coherent policy for refugees. Kennedy also tried to reform "unfair" and "inequitable" aspects of the draft.
    He took on President Lyndon B. Johnson and almost succeeded in amending the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to explicitly ban the poll tax at the state and local level (rather than just directing the Attorney General to challenge its constitutionality there), thereby gaining a reputation for legislative skill.
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    Kennedy returned to the Senate in January 1965, walking with a cane and employing a stronger and more effective legislative staff.
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  • 1964
    His wife Joan did the campaigning for him in the regular 1964 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, and he defeated his Republican opponent by a three-to-one margin.
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    On June 19, 1964, Kennedy was a passenger in a private Aero Commander 680 airplane flying in bad weather from Washington to Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details It crashed into an apple orchard in the western Massachusetts town of Southampton on the final approach to the Barnes Municipal Airport in Westfield. The pilot and Edward Moss, one of Kennedy's aides, were killed. Kennedy was pulled from the wreckage by fellow Senator Birch Bayh and spent months in a hospital recovering from a severe back injury, a punctured lung, broken ribs and internal bleeding. He suffered chronic back pain for the rest of his life. Kennedy took advantage of his long convalescence to meet with academics and study issues more closely, and the hospital experience triggered his lifelong interest in the provision of health care services.
    He was elected to a full six-year term in 1964 and was reelected seven more times.
    More Details Hide Details The Chappaquiddick incident on July 18, 1969, resulted in the death of his automobile passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident; the incident and its aftermath hindered his chances of ever becoming President of the United States.
  • 1963
    On November 22, 1963, while Kennedy was presiding over the Senate—a task given to junior members—an aide rushed in to tell him that his brother, President John F. Kennedy, had been shot; his brother Robert soon told him that the President was dead.
    More Details Hide Details Ted, with his sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, flew to the family home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, to tell his father (afflicted by a stroke suffered in December 1961) the news.
  • 1962
    Kennedy was sworn in to the Senate on November 7, 1962.
    More Details Hide Details He maintained a deferential attitude towards the older, seniority-laden Southern members when he first entered the Senate, avoiding publicity and focusing on committee work and local issues. Compared to his brothers in office, he lacked John's sophistication and Robert's intense, sometimes grating drive, but was more affable than either of them.
    Voters thought McCormack's performance overbearing, and with the family political machine's finally getting fully behind him, Kennedy won the September 1962 primary by a two-to-one margin.
    More Details Hide Details In the November special election, Kennedy defeated Republican George Cabot Lodge II, product of another noted Massachusetts political family, gaining 55 percent of the vote.
    In the 1962 U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts, Kennedy initially faced a Democratic Party primary challenge from Edward J. McCormack, Jr., the state Attorney General.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy's slogan was "He can do more for Massachusetts", the same one John had used in his first campaign for the seat ten years earlier. McCormack had the support of many liberals and intellectuals, who thought Kennedy inexperienced and knew of his suspension from Harvard, a fact which later became public during the race. Kennedy also faced the notion that with one brother President and another U.S. Attorney General, "Don't you think that Teddy is one Kennedy too many?" But Kennedy proved to be an effective street-level campaigner. In a televised debate, McCormack said "The office of United States Senator should be merited, and not inherited," and said that if his opponent's name was Edward Moore, not Edward Moore Kennedy, his candidacy "would be a joke".
    Following his victory in the presidential election, John vacated his seat as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, but Ted was not eligible to fill the vacancy until February 22, 1962, when he would turn thirty.
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  • 1961
    On a nine-nation Latin American trip in 1961, FBI reports from the time showed Kennedy meeting with Lauchlin Currie, an alleged former Soviet spy, together with locals in each country whom the reports deemed left-wingers and Communist sympathizers.
    More Details Hide Details Reports from the FBI and other sources had Kennedy renting a brothel and opening up bordellos after hours during the tour. The Latin American trip helped to formulate Kennedy's foreign policy views, and in subsequent Boston Globe columns he warned that the region might turn to Communism if the U.S. did not reach out to it in a more effective way. Kennedy also began speaking to local political clubs and organizations.
    Meanwhile, Ted started work in February 1961 as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts (for which he took a nominal $1 salary), where he first developed a hard-nosed attitude towards crime.
    More Details Hide Details He took many overseas trips, billed as fact-finding tours with the goal of improving his foreign policy credentials.
  • 1960
    Therefore, John asked Massachusetts Governor Foster Furcolo to name Kennedy family friend Ben Smith as interim senator for John's unexpired term, which he did in December 1960.
    More Details Hide Details This kept the seat available for Ted.
    The seven weeks he spent in Wisconsin helped his brother win the first contested primary of the season there and a similar time spent in Wyoming was rewarded when a unanimous vote from that state's delegates put his brother over the top at the 1960 Democratic National Convention.
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    In 1960, John ran for President of the United States and Ted managed his campaign in the Western states.
    More Details Hide Details Ted learned to fly and during the Democratic primary campaign he barnstormed around the western states, meeting with delegates and bonding with them by trying his hand at ski jumping and bronc riding.
  • 1959
    Kennedy was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1959.
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  • 1958
    They were married by Cardinal Francis Spellman on November 29, 1958, at St. Joseph's Church in Bronxville, New York, with the reception being held at the nearby Siwanoy Country Club.
    More Details Hide Details Together they had three children: Kara (1960–2011), Ted, Jr. (b. 1961), and Patrick J. (b. 1967). By the mid-1960s, their marriage was in trouble due to Ted's womanizing and Joan's growing alcoholism.
  • 1957
    John F. Kennedy had said in 1957, "Just as I went into politics because Joe died, if anything happened to me tomorrow, my brother Bobby would run for my seat in the Senate.
    More Details Hide Details And if Bobby died, Teddy would take over for him." However, Ted was never able to carry on the "Camelot" mystique in the same way that both of his fallen brothers had, with much of it disappearing during his failed 1980 presidential bid. The loss of life at Chappaquiddick and Kennedy's well-documented later personal problems further tarnished his image in relation to the Kennedy name, and Chappaquiddick significantly damaged Ted's chances of ever becoming president. The Associated Press wrote that, "Unlike his brothers, Edward M. Kennedy has grown old in public, his victories, defeats and human contradictions played out across the decades in the public glare." But Kennedy's legislative accomplishments remained, and as The Boston Globe wrote, "By the early 21st century, the achievements of the younger brother would be enough to rival those of many presidents." His death prompted the realization that the "Camelot era" was truly over. Kennedy's New York Times obituary described him via a character sketch: "He was a Rabelaisian figure in the Senate and in life, instantly recognizable by his shock of white hair, his florid, oversize face, his booming Boston brogue, his powerful but pained stride. He was a celebrity, sometimes a self-parody, a hearty friend, an implacable foe, a man of large faith and large flaws, a melancholy character who persevered, drank deeply and sang loudly. He was a Kennedy."
    Early in his second year of law school in October 1957, Kennedy met Virginia Joan Bennett at Manhattanville College, following a dedication speech for a gymnasium that his family donated at the campus in Purchase, New York.
    More Details Hide Details Bennett was a senior there, had worked as a model and won beauty contests, but was unfamiliar with the world of politics. After their engagement, she grew nervous about marrying someone she did not know that well, but his father insisted that the wedding should proceed.
  • 1956
    Not accepted by Harvard Law School due to his grades, Kennedy followed his brother Bobby and enrolled in the University of Virginia School of Law in 1956.
    More Details Hide Details That acceptance was controversial among faculty and alumni who judged Kennedy's past cheating episode incompatible with the University of Virginia's honor code and it took a full faculty vote to admit him. Kennedy also attended the Hague Academy of International Law during one summer. At Virginia, Kennedy felt that he had to study "four times as hard and four times as long" as other students to keep up with them. His grades were mostly C's; he was in the middle of the class ranking, but was the winner of the prestigious William Minor Lile Moot Court Competition. He was elected head of the Student Legal Forum and via his family connections brought many prominent speakers to the campus. While there, his fast automotive habits were curtailed when he was charged with reckless driving and driving without a license. While attending law school, he was officially named as manager of his brother John's 1958 Senate re-election campaign; Ted's ability to connect with ordinary voters on the street helped bring a record-setting victory margin that gave credibility to John's presidential aspirations. Ted graduated from law school in 1959.
    At age 24, Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 1956 with an A.B. in history and government.
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  • 1955
    Kennedy became a starter at end for Harvard in his senior season in 1955, working hard to improve his blocking and tackling to complement his, size.
    More Details Hide Details In the season-ending Harvard-Yale game in the snow at the Yale Bowl on November 19, which Yale won 21–7, Kennedy caught a pass to score Harvard's only touchdown; the team finished the season with a 3–4–1 record. Academically, Kennedy received mediocre grades for his first three years, improved to a B average for his senior year, and finished barely in the top half of his class.
  • 1953
    Kennedy re-entered Harvard in summer 1953 and improved his study habits; his brother John was by then a U.S. senator and the family was attracting more public attention.
    More Details Hide Details Ted joined The Owl final club in 1954 and was also chosen for the Hasty Pudding Club and the Pi Eta fraternity. On athletic probation during his sophomore year, Kennedy returned as a second-string two-way end for the Crimson during his junior year and barely missed earning his varsity letter. Nevertheless, he received a recruiting feeler from Green Bay Packers head coach Lisle Blackbourn, asking about his interest in playing professionally. Kennedy demurred, saying he had plans to attend law school and to "go into another contact sport, politics."
    He was discharged after 21 months in March 1953 as a private first class.
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  • 1952
    In June 1952, Kennedy was assigned to the honor guard at SHAPE headquarters in Paris, France.
    More Details Hide Details His father's political connections ensured that he was not deployed to the ongoing Korean War. While stationed in Europe, he traveled extensively on weekends and climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland.
  • 1951
    Kennedy enlisted in the United States Army in June 1951, signing up for an optional four-year term, which was shortened to the minimum two years after his father intervened.
    More Details Hide Details Following basic training at Fort Dix in New Jersey, he requested assignment to Fort Holabird in Maryland for Army Intelligence training, but was dropped after a few weeks without explanation. He went to Camp Gordon in Georgia for training in the Military Police Corps.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The ruse was immediately discovered and both students were expelled for cheating. In a standard Harvard treatment for serious disciplinary cases, they were told they could apply for readmission within a year or two, after demonstrating good behavior.
  • 1950
    Ted spent his four high school years at Milton Academy prep school in Massachusetts, where his grades were B's and C's and he finished 36th in a class of 56 when he graduated in 1950.
    More Details Hide Details Ted did well at high school football there, playing on the varsity his last two years; the school's headmaster later described his play as: "absolutely fearless... he would have tackled an express train to New York if you asked... he loved contact sports". He also played on the tennis team and was in the drama, debate, and glee clubs. 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.
  • 1932
    Edward Moore Kennedy was born on February 22, 1932 at St. Margaret's Hospital in the Dorchester section of Boston, Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details He 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 Joseph Jr., John, Eunice, and Robert. John asked to be the newborn's godfather, a request his parents honored, though they did not agree to his request to name the baby George Washington Kennedy (the newborn had entered the world on the first president's 200th birthday); they named him after Joseph Sr.'s assistant instead. Frequently uprooted as a child as his family moved among Bronxville, New York, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, Palm Beach, Florida, and the Court of St. James's in London, England, 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 unfavorably with his older brothers. Between the ages of eight and sixteen, Ted suffered the traumas of his sister Rosemary's failed lobotomy, his brother Joseph Jr.'s death during a World War II special mission, and sister Kathleen's death in an airplane crash.
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