Obama calls him ''one of the greatest senators of our time.'' His public service, though, sometimes shared attention with his private problems.
This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
This week, Americans said goodbye to the last son of one of the nation's most politically influential families. Senator Edward Kennedy died Tuesday of brain cancer. He was 77.
Senator Kennedy -- often known as Ted or Teddy -- was the youngest of four sons born to Rose and Joseph Kennedy. Their son Joe was killed in World War Two. Senator Kennedy followed his brothers John and Robert into politics. John became president. Robert became his attorney general, and later a senator. Both were assassinated in the 1960s.
Edward first won his Senate seat from Massachusetts in 1962. Six years later, he showed his gifts as a speaker after a gunman shot Robert.
EDWARD KENNEDY: "My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it."
Robert wanted to become president. So did Edward. But his political career nearly ended in 1969.
He drove a car off a low bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts. His passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, died. The senator left and waited hours to go to the police. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and received a suspended sentence.
Still, he went on to become the third longest serving senator ever. He ran for president in 1980. The Democrats nominated Jimmy Carter for a second term.
Other Kennedys today are active in politics and public service. Edward's son Patrick is in Congress. But for now no one holds national attention the way the senator did. It was not always good attention.
As the New York Times put it, he "struggled for much of his life with his weight, with alcohol and with persistent tales of womanizing." But President Obama remembered him as "not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy."
Edward Kennedy was known as "the liberal lion of the Senate." He said his "best vote" was his vote against the Iraq war. But he was also willing to compromise with Republicans.
He fought for civil rights for the disabled and for workers' rights. He helped negotiate the Northern Ireland peace agreement in 1998.
And ten years later, in 2008, he was one of the first top Democrats to support a young senator seeking the party's nomination for president.
EDWARD KENNEDY: "My friends, I ask you to join in this historic journey to have the courage to choose change. It is time again for a new generation of leadership. It is time now for Barack Obama!"
Social issues were at the heart of Edward Kennedy's work. But he never got to reach one of his goals: health coverage for all Americans. His weakening health kept him away from the Senate in his final months. But he continued to work from home to help support President Obama's top legislative aim, a health reform plan.
Edward Moore Kennedy will be buried Saturday near his brothers John and Robert at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. They also had five sisters. Eunice died on August 11th. The last survivor now is Jean Kennedy Smith.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.
womanize: to pursue women lecherously 与女人私通
Kennedy leaves global legacy
Obama remembers Kennedy as mentor, friend, political icon
New video game recreates Kennedy assassination
Obama awards Presidential Medal Of Freedom
(Source: VOA 英语点津编辑）