Senator Ted Kennedy passed away last night at the age of 77 after battling a cancerous brain tumor for over a year. A priest who was at Kennedy's side when he died shared his reflections with WCVB-5, a local Boston news outlet in this video.
Ted Kennedy, the youngest of the four beloved Kennedy brothers - including John, Robert, and Joseph, leaves behind a giant legacy in the U.S. Senate, where he served for 46 years and helped to push many important bills through legislation, notably on issues around health care, education, and civil rights.
This morning, a flurry of videos have been uploaded to YouTube to commemorate the life of a man known fondly as "The Lion of the Senate." Here's a playlist featuring a selection:
From retrospectives and tributes to clips of his most memorable moments (like this showdown between him and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq), the site has become a rich repository of footage for those that want to learn more about Kennedy's life and family and his contributions to American history.
Since Kennedy fell ill in May 2008, the senator spent much of his time in treatment. But in his rousing endorsement of Barack Obama for president earlier that year, he made clear his dedication to seeing Obama elected, and he continued to stump for the candidate as best he could. His memorable, and unscheduled speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention moved many to tears and standing ovations.
Despite his great achievements, Kennedy's past was not without tragedy and blemish. He lived through the assassinations of two of his older brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, and he himself almost died in a plane crash in 1964. This video from ABC News was taken of him in the hospital recovering after the accident.
In 1969, while serving as a United States Senator for the state of Massachusetts, he was responsible for the death of 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy crashed the car they were driving off of a bridge on the island of Chappaquiddick and did not report the accident until after Kopechne's body was found the next morning. He pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and went on national television to appeal to the people of Massachusetts and ask for their guidance in this speech.
The Chappquiddick incident posed a challenge for Kennedy when he decided to run, unsuccessfully, for President in 1980. However, he went on to become the "patriarch" of the Senate, with many friends on both sides of the aisle.
This is one of the last interviews Ted Kennedy gave before his death:
And be sure to check out The Boston Globe's fantastic series on the late Senator and Massachusetts-native, which covers each chapter of his life.