Teddy Kennedy was one of those rare individuals where you can say: they don't make 'em like that anymore. Love him or hate him, he was a polarizing figure for the Democratic Party and made no apologies for it. Flawed, human and living in the shadows of his slain older brothers; Teddy forged a legacy of public works and legislature that will impact generations to come.
The last in his generation of a dynastic family, public servant to the end, imbued with larger than life charisma and committed to the liberal ideologies of democracy until the very end. Teddy Kennedy has passed away from brain cancer at the age of 77. From ABC News (<-click link for more on his life and legacy):
Sen. Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., at age 77.
The man known as the "liberal lion of the Senate" had fought a more than year-long battle with brain cancer, and according to his son had lived longer with the disease than his doctors expected him to.
"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," the Kennedy family said in a statement. "He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it."
Sen. Edward Moore Kennedy, the youngest Kennedy brother who was left to head the family's political dynasty after his brothers President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated.
Kennedy championed health care reform, working wages and equal rights in his storied career. In August, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- the nation's highest civilian honor -- by President Obama. His daughter, Kara Kennedy, accepted the award on his behalf.
I'll close with one of Ted's signature quotes: "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." Rest in peace, Mr. Kennedy.