Not surprising news, but sad nonetheless. He's the last surviving brother of JFK and RFK, and sister Eunice died only days ago.
A passion advocate of health care reform and the leading liberal of the Democratic Party, he will be missed.
My dad would tell the story of seeing the Senator in the Melody Tent in Hyannisport during Mass. In those days, there were no Saturday Masses, and the influx of tourists swelled the Sunday morning Masses at St. Francis Xavier, so the Melody Tent was used. My sister and I thought it was the greatest thing to go to Mass in a theatrical tent! :) Mom and Dad liked it, too. The Melody Tent still gives performances on the Cape.
In the summer of '69, Ted Kennedy would attend Mass with Secret Service agents and family, a year after brother Bobby had been murdered, and six years after JFK. A basket was passed around for the offering and the woman in front of him was so flustered she passed the basket back to Ted, who gave it to her, and she passed it back again! My dad could always tell a good story. Must have been the Irish in him. ;)
Whatever people's politics or perceptions, it really is the passing of an era here in the U.S. and in Massachusetts.