Senator Edward Kennedy, known as Ted Kennedy, has died at the age of 77, his family said in a statement early this morning.
“Edward M. Kennedy, the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply, died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port (Massachusetts),” said the Kennedy family’s statement.
Sen. Kennedy who served for 47 years as the Democratic U.S. senator for Massachusetts, and had been battling brain cancer diagnosed in May 2008. He was known well on the senate floor as a deal-maker and one of the chamber’s most influential liberal voices.
President Barack Obama issued a statement this morning as well, expressing his respect for Kennedy, who endorsed him in the Democratic primary.
“I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve profited as President from his encouragement and wisdom,” said Obama, who was elected last November and took office in January.
Republican Senator John McCain called Kennedy “the single most effective member of the Senate if you want to get results,” according to Reuters.
Ted was the brother of President John F. Kennedy, assassinated in 1963, and Sen. Bobby Kennedy, who was shot and killed in 1968, and Joe Kennedy, a pilot killed in WWII. He first took the Senate seat held by JFK in 1962.
Our condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.