172 Facts About Ted Kennedy


Edward Moore Kennedy was an American lawyer and politician who served as a United States senator from Massachusetts for almost 47 years, from 1962 until his death in 2009.


Ted Kennedy is ranked fifth in United States history for length of continuous service as a senator.


Ted Kennedy was the father of US representative Patrick J Kennedy.


Ted Kennedy was 30 years old when he first entered the Senate, winning a November 1962 special election in Massachusetts to fill the vacant seat previously held by his brother John, who had taken office as the US president.


Ted Kennedy was elected to a full six-year term in 1964 and was later re-elected seven more times.


Ted Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident and later received a two-month suspended sentence.


Ted Kennedy ran in 1980 in the Democratic primary campaign for president, but lost to the incumbent president, Jimmy Carter.


Ted Kennedy became recognized as "The Lion of the Senate" through his long tenure and influence.


Unabashedly liberal, Ted Kennedy championed an interventionist government that emphasized economic and social justice, but he was known for working with Republicans to find compromises.


Kennedy played a major role in passing many laws, including the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the National Cancer Act of 1971, the COBRA health insurance provision, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Ryan White AIDS Care Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Mental Health Parity Act, the S-CHIP children's health program, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the Edward M Kennedy Serve America Act.


Ted Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery near his brothers John and Robert.


Ted Kennedy was born on February 22,1932, at St Margaret's Hospital in the Dorchester section of Boston, Massachusetts.


Ted Kennedy was the youngest of the nine children of Joseph Patrick Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, members of prominent Irish American families in Boston.


Ted Kennedy had attended ten schools by the age of eleven; these disruptions that interfered with his academic success.


Ted Kennedy was an altar boy at the St Joseph's Church and was seven when he received his First Communion from Pope Pius XII in the Vatican.


Ted Kennedy spent sixth and seventh grades at the Fessenden School, where he was a mediocre student, and eighth grade at Cranwell Preparatory School; both schools located in Massachusetts.


Ted Kennedy was the youngest child and his parents were affectionate toward him, but they compared him unfavorably with his older brothers.


Between the ages of eight and sixteen, Ted Kennedy suffered the traumas of his sister Rosemary's failed lobotomy and the deaths of two siblings: Joseph Jr.


Ted Kennedy spent his four high-school years at Milton Academy, a preparatory school in Milton, Massachusetts, where he received B and C grades.


Ted Kennedy played on the tennis team and was in the drama, debate, and glee clubs.


Ted Kennedy was an offensive and defensive end on the freshman football team; his play was characterized by his large size and fearless style.


In June 1951, Kennedy enlisted in the United States Army and signed up for an optional four-year term that was shortened to the minimum of two years after his father intervened.


Ted Kennedy went to Camp Gordon in Georgia for training in the Military Police Corps.


In June 1952, Ted Kennedy was assigned to the honor guard at SHAPE headquarters in Paris, France.


Ted Kennedy re-entered Harvard in the summer of 1953 and improved his study habits.


Ted Kennedy's brother John was a US Senator and the family was attracting more public attention.


Ted Kennedy joined The Owl final club in 1954 and was chosen for the Hasty Pudding Club and the Pi Eta fraternity.


Ted Kennedy was on athletic probation during his sophomore year, and he returned as a second-string two-way end for the Crimson football team during his junior year.


Ted Kennedy received a recruiting feeler from Green Bay Packers head coach Lisle Blackbourn, who asked him about his interest in playing professional football.


Academically, Ted 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.


Ted Kennedy instead followed his brother Bobby and enrolled in the University of Virginia School of Law in 1956.


That acceptance was controversial among faculty and alumni, who judged Ted Kennedy's past cheating episodes at Harvard to be incompatible with the University of Virginia's honor code; it took a full faculty vote to admit him.


Ted Kennedy attended The Hague Academy of International Law during one summer.


At Virginia, Ted Kennedy felt that he had to study "four times as hard and four times as long" as other students to keep up with them.


Ted Kennedy received mostly C grades and was in the middle of the class ranking, but won the prestigious William Minor Lile Moot Court Competition.


Ted Kennedy was elected head of the Student Legal Forum and brought many prominent speakers to the campus via his family connections.


In October 1957, Kennedy met Joan Bennett at Manhattanville College; they were introduced after a dedication speech for a gymnasium that his family had donated at the campus.


In 1960, his brother John announced his candidacy for President of the United States and Ted Kennedy managed his campaign in the Western states.


Ted Kennedy 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.


Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy started work in February 1961 as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts, where he first developed a hard-nosed attitude towards crime.


Ted Kennedy took many overseas trips, billed as fact-finding tours with the goal of improving his foreign policy credentials.


Reports from the FBI and other sources had Ted Kennedy renting a brothel and opening up bordellos after hours during the tour.


Ted 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.


Voters thought McCormack's performance overbearing, and with the family political machine's finally getting fully behind him, Ted Kennedy won the September 1962 primary by a two-to-one margin.


Ted Kennedy was sworn into the Senate on November 7,1962.


Ted Kennedy 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.


Ted Kennedy was favored by Senator James Eastland, chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee.


On June 19,1964, Ted Kennedy was a passenger in a private Aero Commander 680 airplane that was flying in bad weather from Washington to Massachusetts.


Ted 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.


Ted Kennedy suffered chronic back pain for the rest of his life as a result of the accident.


Ted 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.


Ted Kennedy was walking with a cane when he returned to the Senate in January 1965.


Ted Kennedy employed a stronger and more effective legislative staff.


Ted Kennedy 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, thereby gaining a reputation for legislative skill.


Ted Kennedy was a leader in pushing through the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ended a quota system based upon national origin.


Ted Kennedy played a role in the creation of the National Teachers Corps.


Ted Kennedy held hearings on the plight of refugees in the conflict, which revealed that the US government had no coherent policy for refugees.


Ted Kennedy tried to reform "unfair" and "inequitable" aspects of the draft.


Ted Kennedy initially advised his brother Robert against challenging the incumbent President Lyndon 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 Kennedy recruited political leaders for endorsements to his brother in the western states.


Ted Kennedy was in San Francisco when 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 his brother's death, as he was closest to Robert among those in the Kennedy family.


At the chaotic August 1968 Democratic National Convention, 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.


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.


Ted Kennedy was hosting a party for the Boiler Room Girls, a group of young women who had worked on his brother Robert's ill-fated 1968 presidential campaign.


Ted Kennedy left the party with one of the women, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne.


Ted Kennedy lost control of his vehicle and crashed in the Poucha Pond inlet, which was a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island.


Ted Kennedy escaped from the overturned vehicle, and, by his description, dove below the surface seven or eight times, vainly attempting to reach and rescue Kopechne.


Ted Kennedy did not report the accident to authorities until the next morning, by which time Kopechne's body had already been discovered.


Ted Kennedy introduced a bipartisan bill in August 1970 for single-payer universal national health insurance with no cost sharing, paid for by payroll taxes and general federal revenue.


Ted Kennedy 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.


Ted Kennedy began a decade as chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee.


Ted Kennedy played a leading role, with Senator Jacob Javits, in the creation and passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971.


In October 1971, Kennedy made his first speech about The Troubles in Northern Ireland: he said that "Ulster is becoming Britain's Vietnam", advocating for the withdrawal of British troops from the six 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".


Ted Kennedy was sharply criticised by the British and Ulster unionists, and he formed a long political relationship with Social Democratic and Labour Party founder John Hume.


In scores of anti-war speeches, Ted Kennedy opposed President Richard Nixon's policy of Vietnamization, calling it "a policy of violence [that] means more and more war".


In December 1971, Ted 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".


In February 1972, Ted Kennedy flew to Bangladesh and delivered a speech at the University of Dhaka, where a killing rampage had begun a year earlier.


Nevertheless, polls in 1971 suggested he could win the nomination if he tried, and Kennedy gave some thought to running.


George McGovern was close to clinching the Democratic nomination in June 1972, when various anti-McGovern forces tried to get Ted Kennedy to enter the contest at the last minute, but he declined.


When McGovern's choice of Thomas Eagleton stepped down soon after the convention, McGovern again tried to get Ted Kennedy to take the nod, again without success.


Ted Kennedy initially opposed busing schoolchildren across racial lines, but grew to support the practice as it became a focal point of civil rights efforts.


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.


Ted Kennedy was again much talked about as a contender in the 1976 US presidential election, with no strong front-runners among the other possible Democratic candidates.


Ted Kennedy defeated a primary challenger who was angry at his support for school busing in Boston.


The Carter administration years were difficult for Ted Kennedy; he had been the most important Democrat in Washington ever since his brother Robert's death, but now Carter was, and Ted Kennedy at first did not have a full committee chairmanship with which to wield influence.


Ted Kennedy expressed to reporters that he was content with his congressional role and viewed presidential ambitions as almost far-fetched.


Ted Kennedy 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.


Ted Kennedy became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1978, by which time he had amassed a wide-ranging Senate staff of a hundred.


Ted Kennedy finally decided to seek the Democratic nomination in the 1980 presidential election by launching an unusual, insurgent campaign against the incumbent Carter.


Labor unions urged Ted 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.


Ted Kennedy formally announced his campaign on November 7,1979, at Boston's Faneuil Hall.


The 1980 election saw the Republicans capture not just the presidency but control of the Senate as well, and Ted Kennedy was in the minority party for the first time in his career.


Ted Kennedy did not dwell upon his presidential loss, but instead reaffirmed his public commitment to American liberalism.


Ted Kennedy 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.


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.


Ted Kennedy became the Senate's leading advocate for a nuclear freeze and was a critic of Reagan's confrontational policies toward the Soviet Union.


Chebrikov wrote that Ted Kennedy was "'very troubled by the current state of Soviet-American relations'" and believed that the "'only real threats to Reagan [were] problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations'".


Former Reagan administration negotiator Max Kampelman has asserted that Kennedy did engage in back-channel communications with the Soviet Union, but added that he "'learned that the senator never acted or received information without informing the appropriate United States agency or official'".


Ted 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.


Ted Kennedy staged a tiring, dangerous, and high-profile trip to South Africa in January 1985.


Ted Kennedy defied both the apartheid government's wishes and militant leftist AZAPO demonstrators by spending a night in the Soweto home of Bishop Desmond Tutu and visited Winnie Mandela, wife of imprisoned black leader Nelson Mandela.


The discussions were productive, and Ted Kennedy helped gain the release of a number of Soviet Jewish refuseniks, including Anatoly Shcharansky.


Female Senate staffers from the late 1980s and early 1990s recalled that Ted Kennedy was on an informal list of male Senators who were known for harassing women regularly, such as while alone in elevators.


Ted 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.


Bush, but Kennedy won re-election to the Senate over Republican Joseph D Malone in the easiest race of his career.


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.


Ted 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 late November 1989, Ted Kennedy traveled to see first-hand the newly fallen Berlin Wall; he spoke at John-F.


Ted Kennedy's brother-in-law, Stephen Edward Smith, died from cancer in August 1990; Smith was a close family member and troubleshooter, and his death left Ted Kennedy emotionally bereft.


Ted 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.


On Easter weekend 1991, Ted Kennedy was at a get-together at the family's Palm Beach, Florida, estate.


Ted Kennedy got his son Patrick and nephew William Kennedy Smith to accompany him.


Cassone said that Ted Kennedy subsequently walked in on her and Patrick, who was dressed only in a nightshirt and had a weird look on his face.


The local police made a delayed investigation; Ted Kennedy sources were soon feeding the press with negative information about Bowman's background, and several mainstream newspapers broke an unwritten rule by publishing her name.


Time magazine said Ted Kennedy was being perceived as a "Palm Beach boozer, lout and tabloid grotesque" while Newsweek said Ted Kennedy was "the living symbol of the family flaws".


Ted Kennedy was hamstrung by his past reputation and the ongoing developments in the William Ted Kennedy Smith case.


Writer Anna Quindlen said "[Ted Kennedy] let us down because he had to; he was muzzled by the facts of his life".


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.


Ted 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.


Ted 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.


Ted Kennedy's mother Rose died in January 1995 at the age of 104.


Many Democrats in the Senate and the country overall felt depressed but Ted Kennedy rallied forces to combat the Republicans.


In 1996, Ted Kennedy secured an increase in the minimum wage, which was one of his favorite issues; there would not be another increase for ten years.


Ted 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.


In 1997, Ted 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 US since Medicaid began in the 1960s.


Ted 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 Ted Kennedy staffer Greg Craig to his defense team, which helped improve the president's fortunes.


Ted Kennedy was the family patriarch, and he and President Clinton consoled his extended family at the public memorial service.


Ted 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.


Ted Kennedy was in his Senate offices meeting with First Lady Laura Bush when the September 11,2001, attacks took place.


Two of the airplanes involved had taken off from Boston, and in the following weeks, Ted Kennedy telephoned each of the 177 Massachusetts families who had lost members in the attacks.


In reaction to the attacks, Ted Kennedy was a supporter of the American-led 2001 overthrow of the Taliban government in Afghanistan.


However, Ted Kennedy strongly opposed the Iraq War from the start, and was one of 23 senators voting against the Iraq War Resolution in October 2002.


However, when the final formulation of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act contained provisions to steer seniors towards private plans, Ted Kennedy switched to opposing it.


Ted 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.


However, Kennedy sought to partner with Republicans again on the matter of immigration reform in the context of the ongoing United States immigration debate.


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.


The "McCain-Ted 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.


Ted 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.


Ted 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.


In 2006, Ted Kennedy released a children's book from the view of his dog Splash, My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, DC Also in 2006, Ted Kennedy released a political history entitled America Back on Track.


In 2006, a Cessna Citation 550 in which Kennedy was flying lost electrical power after being struck by lightning and had to be diverted.


Ted Kennedy then remained neutral as the 2008 Democratic nomination battle between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama intensified, because his friend Chris Dodd was running for the nomination.


When Dodd withdrew from the race, Ted Kennedy became dissatisfied with the tone of the Clinton campaign and what he saw as racially tinged remarks by Bill Clinton.


Ted Kennedy gave an endorsement to Obama on January 28,2008, despite appeals by both Clintons not to do so.


In return, Kennedy gained a commitment from Obama to make universal health care a top priority of his administration if he were elected.


Ted 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.


On May 17,2008, Ted Kennedy suffered a seizure, which was followed by a second seizure as he was being rushed from the Ted Kennedy Compound to Cape Cod Hospital and then by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.


Ted Kennedy decided to follow the most aggressive and exhausting course of treatment possible.


On June 2,2008, Ted Kennedy underwent brain surgery at Duke University Medical Center in an attempt to remove as much of the tumor as possible.


Ted Kennedy left the hospital a week later to begin a course of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.


On September 26,2008, Ted Kennedy suffered a mild seizure while at home in Hyannis Port; he immediately went to the hospital, was examined and released later that same day.


On January 20,2009, Ted Kennedy attended Barack Obama's presidential inauguration, but then suffered a seizure at the luncheon immediately afterwards.


Ted Kennedy was taken by wheelchair from the Capitol building and then by ambulance to Washington Hospital Center.


Ted Kennedy was released from the hospital the following morning, and he returned to his home in Washington, DC.


Ted Kennedy 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.


Ted Kennedy made another surprise appearance in the Senate to break a Republican filibuster against the Obama stimulus package.


When spring arrived, Ted Kennedy appeared on Capitol Hill more frequently, although staffers often did not announce his attendance at committee meetings until they were sure Ted Kennedy was well enough to appear.


However, Ted Kennedy's tumor had spread by spring 2009 and treatments for it were no longer effective; this information was not disclosed to the public.


Ted Kennedy did cut a television commercial for Dodd, who was struggling early on in his 2010 re-election bid.


Fifteen months after he was initially diagnosed with brain cancer, Ted Kennedy succumbed to the disease on August 25,2009, at age 77 at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.


True Compass, the memoir that Ted Kennedy worked on throughout his illness, was published three weeks after his death.


Shortly before his death, Ted Kennedy had written to Democratic Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts legislature, asking them to change state law to allow an appointee to fill a US Senate vacancy for a term expiring upon the special election.


Ted 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.


Congressman Patrick Ted Kennedy brought a copy of a national health insurance bill his father had introduced in 1970 as a gift for the president.


Ted Kennedy had a lifetime liberal 90 percent score from the ADA through 2004, while the ACU awarded Ted Kennedy a lifetime conservative rating of 2 percent through 2008.


When Ted Kennedy died in August 2009, he was the second-most senior member of the Senate and the third longest-serving senator of all time, behind Byrd and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.


Ted Kennedy therefore held the record as the longest-serving Democratic member of Congress to solely serve as a senator until October 2021, when he was surpassed by fellow Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont.


Ted Kennedy was known for his effectiveness in dealing with Republican senators and administrations, sometimes to the irritation of other Democrats.


Ted Kennedy strongly believed in the principle "never let the perfect be the enemy of the good," and would agree to pass legislation he viewed as incomplete or imperfect with the goal of improving it down the road.


Ted Kennedy 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.


Senator Ted Kennedy received many awards and honors over the years.