Wednesday, August 26, 2009
At 77 years-old, the "liberal lion of the Senate" has lost his battle with brain cancer. Ted Kennedy represented the state of Massachusetts, and was the second most senior member of the Senate. His death is an incredible shame, but Sen. Kennedy lived a long life of activism and making the world a better place through politics.
During his lifetime, Kennedy was an advocate for the rights of women, GLBT people, immigrants, minorities, and people with disabilities. As a believer of reproductive justice, he received a 100% pro-choice record from NARAL, and he was key to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, and many others. In August, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation's highest civilian honor) by President Obama.
At the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Senator Kennedy made a surprise appearance (not too long after undergoing surgery for a brain tumor) and delivered a speech to a teary-eyed and welcoming audience.
His seat in the Senate will certainly be an enormous one to fill, and I hope we can properly honor his many achievements.