Remembering a Leader
Senator Edward Kennedy, 77, dies after battling cancer
The Kennedy brothers: former President John F. Kennedy, left, Robert Kennedy, and Senator Ted Kennedy, right, in an undated photo at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. (Photo: AP Images)
The nation is remembering the life of one of its best-known and most widely respected political leaders.
U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, known as Ted, died on Wednesday after battling cancer. He was 77. A Democrat, he served as a U.S. Senator of Massachusetts for 46 years. His long-term service and ability to get laws passed earned him respect from many people in Congress and America. He was well-known for his willingness to work with people in the opposing political party to get things done.
President Barack Obama praised Senator Kennedy's lifetime of work in a statement to reporters on Wednesday morning. He called Kennedy "not only one of the greatest Senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy."
Kennedy was passionate about issues that affect children, including education and health care. He worked with President George W. Bush to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, a law intended to improve education for all children in the U.S. Kennedy was also a major force behind the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This U.S. government program provides children's health insurance coverage for families that can't afford it.
Senator Kennedy was from a family that has been very important in American politics. His brother John F. Kennedy was President of the United States from 1961 to 1963. President Kennedy was assassinated, or murdered, in 1963.
Another Kennedy brother, Robert F. Kennedy, ran for President in 1968. He was assassinated that year. Despite these family tragedies, Senator Ted Kennedy continued to work hard as a public official to help improve the lives of Americans.
Scholastic Kid Reporter Alexandra Conway got a chance to talk with Kennedy at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. Alexandra asked the Senator how he would like to be remembered.
"I want to be remembered as someone who helped children, someone who cares for children," Kennedy said. "Children need good schools to go to, a place to live, good food to eat. The most important thing for children is to have a good education."
Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from Scholastic News Online.
Scholastic News Editor Steph Smith contributed to this report.