Senator Ted Kennedy
Â Senator Edward Kennedy Dies!
He was the patriarch of the Kennedy family and an icon of the Democratic Party and the U.S. Senate
By Yussuf J. SimmondsSentinel Assistant Managing EditorÂ He was called the liberal lion of the senate, one of the longest serving senators in the Congress (since 1962) and he was always on the right side of the issues pertaining to African Americans. Senator Edward Moore Kennedy lost his yearlong battle with a brain tumor late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts; he was 77.Kennedy was a forceful voice on healthcare to the point that many say had he been in Congress for the present crisis, it would have been resolved or moving close to a resolution. His prints are on every piece of social legislation passed by the U. S. Senate during the last 45 years and he was a champion of civil rights.The last of the Kennedy brothers, he was part of what many called one of the nation's most prominent polities dynasties, and the last of four brothers, three of whom were U.S. Senators. He was the youngest of the four brothers and the Kennedy clan has dotted the U.S. political landscape in the roles of congress member, lieutenant governor, council member(s) and state representative(s) under his tutelage as family patriarch.Even though he was the most liberal senator in the Senate, Kennedy had the innate ability to find common ground and work with some of the Senate's most conservative senators; it was legendary. The respect he earned from his colleagues transcended party and ideological differences and like his two brothers who were in the Senate, and one who had become president, they usually counted on the support of African Americans who would naturally count on them to support for the issues that affected African Americans.Kennedy was one of the earliest supporters of candidate Barack Obama during his historic run for the White House notwithstanding, there were many other well known, established candidates who were diligently seeking his support. He also supported Deval Patrick to become the first African American governor of his state, Massachusetts.The family issued the following statement early Wednesday morning (Eastern Standard Time): "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness and opportunity for all."The Kennedy family has lost its patriarch, Massachusetts and the Senate has lost its most liberal senator, the nation, and indeed the world has lost a great American and African Americans have lost a friend in the U.S. Senate. May he rest in peace!Â