Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy
I never met Senator Edward Kennedy. A few years back, I took my son to Washington, D.C., for a vacation, and we saw him in a Senate Hearing. Sen. Richard Durbin was there also.
We were not able to say hello or shake his hand. The senators were called away for a vote.
I’m just sitting with this right now. Senator Kennedy has died.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.
In nearly 50 years in the Senate, Kennedy served alongside 10 presidents — his brother John Fitzgerald Kennedy among them — compiling an impressive list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more.
His only run for the White House ended in defeat in 1980. More than a quarter-century later, he handed then-Sen. Barack Obama an endorsement at a critical point in the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, explicitly likening the young contender to President Kennedy.
To the American public, Kennedy was best known as the last surviving son of America’s most glamorous political family, father figure and, memorably, eulogist of an Irish-American clan plagued again and again by tragedy.
The last son has died. Rest in peace, Senator. Rest in peace.