Senator Ted Kennedy dead at age 77 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Senator Ted Kennedy dead at age 77

HYANNIS PORT, Mass. -  Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate, has died after battling a brain tumor. He was 77.

Kennedy's family announced his death in a brief statement released early Wednesday.

For nearly a half-century in the Senate, Kennedy was a dominant voice on health care, civil rights, war and peace, and more. To the American public, though, he was best known as the last surviving brother of a storied political family.

Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1962, when his brother John was president, and served longer than all but two senators in history.

Over the decades, Kennedy put his imprint on every major piece of social legislation to clear the Congress.

Kennedy's family issued the following statement:

"Edward M. Kennedy - the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply - died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port. 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. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it's hard to imagine any of them without him."

Former First lady also issued a statement Tuesday evening:

"I was terribly saddened to hear of the death of Ted Kennedy tonight.  Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised by how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family.  But Ronnie and Ted could always find common ground, and they had great respect for one another.  In recent years, Ted and I found our common ground in stem cell research, and I considered him an ally and a dear friend.  I will miss him.  My heart goes out to Vicki and the entire Kennedy family.

The Associated Press has learned that Senator Kennedy will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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