senator edward kennedy dies at 77 after cancer battle

senator edward kennedy dies at 77 after cancer battlefrom ap: U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, a towering figure in the Democratic Party who took the helm of one of America’s most fabled political families after two older brothers were assassinated, died at age 77, his family said. “Edward M. Kennedy, the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply, died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port (Massachusetts),” the Kennedy family said in a statement early on Wednesday. Kennedy had brain cancer, which was diagnosed in May 2008. He was one of the most influential and longest-serving senators in U.S. history, a liberal standard-bearer who recovered politically from a string of personal scandals to become known as a consummate congressional dealmaker…

Known as “Teddy,” he was the brother of President John Kennedy, assassinated in 1963, Senator Robert Kennedy, fatally shot while campaigning for the 1968 Democratic presidential nomination, and Joe Kennedy, a pilot killed in World War Two…

After RFK’s death, Edward was expected to waste little time in vying for the presidency. But in ’69, a young woman drowned after a car Kennedy was driving plunged off a bridge on the Massachusetts resort island of Chappaquiddick after a night of partying. Kennedy’s image was tarnished after it emerged he had failed to report the accident to authorities. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene & received a suspended sentence. Kennedy eventually ran for his party’s presidential nomination in ’80 but lost to then-President Jimmy Carter. His presidential ambitions thwarted, Kennedy devoted himself to his Senate career.

update: obama to deliver kennedy eulogy*
video: motorcade carries kennedy’s body to jfk library*