This is now the second time in a short while that I found out about a famous death by way of my Twitter feed. The first time was when I started seeing the buzz out there about Mike. Then, of all people, I saw Diddy twit something about Uncle Ted passing away. I immediately thought it was Teddy Pendergrass for some reason. The most obvious Ted never occurred to me.
Massachusetts Democratic Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy died late Tuesday at his home in Hyannis Port, MA after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 77-years-old.
The first time I realized that Ted was even sick was around last year's Democratic Convention. There was news of him suffering a seizure during a post-inaugural luncheon and he had to be hospitalized. I remember thinking then that it would be terrible if he met his demise there to dampen the occasion. Especially since Ted's endorsement played a big factor in President Obama getting the Democratic nomination in the first place.
Additionally, I didn't know until just now that his name was actually Edward. Or maybe I was aware of it at one point in time and had just forgotten (which is probably the more likely scenario). He had just been Ted Kennedy for so long that I always assumed that was his real name.
I also wasn't aware that he made a brief run at the presidency in 1980 only to get defeated in primary challenge to then-President Jimmy Carter. I wonder how many people look back in hindsight at that voting decision. Carter was arguably one of our worst presidents in recent history(fortunately, Georgie has him beat for the top spot by a mile). How much different and possibly even better had the country had been if a Kennedy had been in office instead?
The reason why I gave this post that particular title is because now there is only one remaining Kennedy offspring left from the legendary Joe Kennedy. Although Jean Kennedy-Smith has managed to outlive them all, all of the sons are now gone. Ted did manage to live the longest live of the sons; however, even the manner of his ultimate passing(via brain cancer) still show signs that perhaps there truly was a curse on the Kennedy boys.
Ted may have never reached the grand prize of the Presidency, but he made a powerful impact during his 40+ years as a Democratic senator. He did the first family of Democratic politics proud. Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy.