When his brand of liberalism fell out of favor -- and some Democrats fell all over themselves to escape the 'liberal' label -- he continued to wear it proudly. That took courage.
John Sasso, Democratic political consultant who worked on Kennedy's 1980 presidential campaign
We have lost a great American hero.
US Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts
Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.
For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health, and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.
I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've profited as president from his encouragement and wisdom.
An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States senator of our time.
And the Kennedy family has lost their patriarch, a tower of strength and support through good times and bad.
Our hearts and prayers go out to them today -- to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick, and Kara, his grandchildren, and his extended family.
Senator John F. Kerry.
We have known for some time that this day was coming, but nothing makes it easier. We have lost a great light in our lives and our politics, and it will never be the same again. Ted Kennedy was such an extraordinary force, yes for the issues he cared about, but more importantly for the humanity and caring in our politics that is at the center of faith and true public service.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada
The Kennedy family and the Senate family have together lost our patriarch. My thoughts, and those of the entire United States Senate, are with Vicki, Senator Kennedy's children, his many nieces and nephews, and his entire family.
It was the thrill of my lifetime to work with Ted Kennedy. He was a friend, the model of public service and an American icon.
As we mourn his loss, we rededicate ourselves to the causes for which he so dutifully dedicated his life. Senator Kennedy’s legacy stands with the greatest, the most devoted, the most patriotic men and women to ever serve in these halls.
Because of Ted Kennedy, more young children could afford to become healthy. More young adults could afford to become students. More of our oldest citizens and our poorest citizens could get the care they need to live longer, fuller lives. More minorities, women and immigrants could realize the rights our founding documents promised them. And more Americans could be proud of their country.
Ted Kennedy's America was one in which all could pursue justice, enjoy equality, and know freedom. Ted Kennedy's life was driven by his love of a family that loved him, and his belief in a country that believed in him. Ted Kennedy's dream was the one for which the founding
Governor Deval Patrick
One of the Commonwealth's brightest lights went out last night. Ted Kennedy was a compassionate, effective, visionary statesman, family man, and friend. Diane and I were blessed by his company, support, and many kindnesses, and miss him profoundly. We pray for comfort for his beloved wife and partner Vicki and his entire family.
Gerard Doherty, a longtime friend of Kennedy.
He just was a wonderful friend, a wonderful leader. He gave me a great opportunity. He always was prompted to give people a chance to give someone a hand. No matter who you were, he was there to give you a hand.
He always was concerned about the little guy. We’ve lost a great friend, and America has lost a great champion.
Paul G. Kirk Jr., a former Kennedy aide who is chairman of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation
Without question Senator Kennedy was the most accomplished and effective legislator for economic and social justice in the history of our country. He was the most thoughtful and genuinely considerate friend I have known.
He taught us to persevere and carry on in the face of loss and adversity. And we owe it to him to do the same at this time.
I was terribly saddened to hear of the death of Ted Kennedy tonight.
Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised by how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family. But Ronnie and Ted could always find common ground, and they had great respect for one another.
In recent years, Ted and I found our common ground in stem cell research, and I considered him an ally and a dear friend. I will miss him.
My heart goes out to Vicki and the entire Kennedy family.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California
Maria and I are immensely saddened by the passing of Uncle Teddy. He was known to the world as the Lion of the Senate, a champion of social justice, and a political icon.
Most importantly, he was the rock of our family: a loving husband, father, brother and uncle. He was a man of great faith and character.
Teddy inspired our country through his dedication to health care reform, his commitment to social justice, and his devotion to a life of public service.
I have personally benefited and grown from his experience and advice, and I know countless others have as well.
Teddy taught us all that public service isn’t a hobby or even an occupation, but a way of life and his legacy will live on.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who lost to Kennedy in a 1994 Senate race
The last son of Rose Fitzgerald and Joseph Kennedy was granted a much longer life than his brothers, and he filled those years with endeavor and achievement that would have made them proud," Romney said, recalling the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, as well as the World War II death of Joseph Kennedy.
In 1994, I joined the long list of those who ran against Ted and came up short. But he was the kind of man you could like even if he was your adversary.
The Board of Directors of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum
Over the last 17 years those of us at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum have had the great privilege of getting to know Senator Kennedy, who was an ardent supporter of our museum.
Senator Kennedy supported the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum from the very beginning and was a frequent visitor. His help and belief in the museum contributed greatly to the success it is today.
All of us at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum express our deep sadness on the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Our hearts go out to Mrs. Kennedy, the senator’s children, and all members of the Kennedy family.
We will miss him greatly. He was much more than our esteemed senator; he was our neighbor and friend.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Even facing illness and death he never stopped fighting for the causes which were his life's work. I am proud to have counted him as a friend and proud that the United Kingdom recognized his service earlier this year with the award of an honorary knighthood.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Kennedy has been a friend for 30 years, a great American patriot, a great champion of a better world, a great friend of Israel. He will be sorely missed.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Ted Kennedy was a great American, a great Democrat, and also a great friend of Australia. He has made an extraordinary contribution to American politics, an extraordinary contribution to America's role in the world.US Representative James P. McGovern, Democrat from Massachusetts
The best tribute we could pay him is a renewed vigor in the fight to see his dreams realized. The world is going to miss Ted Kennedy. I already do.
Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray
From the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the current debate on national health care reform, Senator Kennedy assembled an agenda that addressed the needs of the common man and the most vulnerable of our citizens. In a career that spanned nearly five decades, he was a tireless advocate, statesman and fighter who changed the landscape for Americans with disabilities and children with special needs, codifying services and reshaping our cultural mindset. And, always, he was a champion for Massachusetts.
Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo
The loss of Senator Kennedy leaves a chasm in the Massachusetts political landscape. His contributions to the American people, to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and to his family – to whom I extend my personal condolences -- were without equal. No words better fit the moment than those of Senator Kennedy himself: "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
Lynn Nicholas, president and CEO of Massachusetts Hospital Association
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the nation lost a great leader today – a loss that strikes those of us in the health care sector especially hard.
As a public servant, Edward Kennedy possessed the compassion of a dedicated caregiver, placing the well-being of patients – especially those without health insurance or at great financial risk – above all else. He was also a friend of hospitals and the many men and women who carry out their life-saving work. He understood better than anyone of his generation the necessary choreography between government and health care, of ensuring that patients are protected, and that caregivers are supported from their medical education through their service to communities.
Senator Kennedy's instinctual devotion to ensuring that the United States has a strong health care system was, I believe, grounded in his love of country. As a patriot he believed that a nation is judged by how it provides for its dispossessed; he believed that a nation blessed with technological superiority and a skilled health care workforce should be obligated to provide that exceptional care to all. I know the fundamental mission he advanced is one that all hospitals in his home state of Massachusetts, and indeed, all hospitals across the United States share.
Edward Kennedy was a tremendously warm, friendly, and joyous man whose passing has saddened the many who called him a friend or colleague, and the millions whose lives were enriched by his work in the United States Senate. Personally, throughout my 30 years in health care – in New Jersey, Louisiana, and now in Massachusetts – his influence was felt, and his guiding hand in improving the lives of patients and those who care for them was admired and respected.
On behalf of the Massachusetts hospital community, I express our sorrow and deepest sympathy to Senator Kennedy’s family, our thanks for his monumental achievements, and our collective promise to continue the national effort to provide affordable, accessible, and high-quality care to all Americans.
Jennifer Nassour, chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party
I am deeply saddened by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. He was a tireless champion of the weak and forgotten, and our nation has lost a true statesman and devoted public servant.
For five decades, Senator Kennedy defended the causes of justice and peace on the floor of the US Senate. Today is a day to put politics aside and our great state and country first, and recognize Senator Kennedy's remarkable leadership and service to his constituents of Massachusetts.
As someone who has lost a father and a brother I love, I know Senator Kennedy's passing represents a great loss to his family and friends. I send my condolences to the entire Kennedy family and, on behalf of Republicans of the Commonwealth, we give thanks for his extraordinary life of service.
Paul Guzzi, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Massachusetts has lost a great senator. We have all lost a great friend. Senator Edward M. Kennedy has been a fundamental force in shaping virtually every public policy debate crucial to the future of our region. His determination in fostering economic growth and entrepreneurial enterprise was steadfast. His commitment to social justice and equality of opportunity was unparalleled. And his success in securing the resources that drive research and innovation was remarkable.
His enduring legacy includes access to quality health care, education reform, equal pay for women, a modern transportation system, job training, and securing billions of crucial federal research dollars for Massachusetts research hospitals and universities.
In addition to all of the issues that Senator Kennedy championed, he also possessed that increasingly rare skill of bringing different political interests together to achieve landmark legislation that changed the region – and the nation – for the better.
Since I first came to know him in the 1960s, Senator Kennedy displayed extraordinary resilience to overcome tragedies, to represent the Commonwealth, and to carry on the tradition of public service that his family epitomized. He was the voice for the hopes and aspirations of millions who would have had no voice but for his.
We honor his life and legacy – and we will greatly miss him.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley
It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Senator Ted Kennedy. Massachusetts has lost a son, and the nation has lost a great and compassionate statesman.
Senator Kennedy had a tremendous impact on our Commonwealth and indeed the entire country. He remained tirelessly committed to fighting for his constituents, especially on the issue of health care, even while fighting his own personal battle with cancer.
Massachusetts was truly blessed to have had him as our Senator. We will always remember his courage and his tenacity. We honor his life and his legacy.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Senator’s family during this sad time.
Dr. J. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association
Today, the American Medical Association joins the nation in mourning the death of Senator Edward Kennedy.
During his many years in public service, Senator Kennedy was a champion for America’s patients – working until the end to make improvements on their behalf. For example, Senator Kennedy was a leading voice in efforts to expand access to health care for children and to secure fair health coverage for the mentally ill.
Earlier this year, the AMA honored Senator Kennedy with its highest award for government service, which is bestowed on those who go above and beyond the call of duty to improve public health.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino
On behalf of the city of Boston, our thoughts and prayers go out to Vicki and the entire Kennedy family. Senator Kennedy was steadfast in his devotion to the people of our city, state and country, and he was never afraid of any battle. He was not only a champion in the Senate, fighting for the poor and underserved, but he was also my close friend. I will miss his friendship and his guidance.
Senator Kennedy was the real deal – an authentic, principled and giving public servant who pushed us to work for things yet to be. His work eased our concerns, lifted us with opportunity and filled us with pride.
Boston has never had a greater champion. Massachusetts has never known a more relentless fighter for economic and social justice. America has never witnessed a more influential and productive legislator.
Robert J. Haynes, president of Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Today the working families of Massachusetts mourn the passing of the biggest voice and the biggest champion of the ‘little guy’ to ever serve in the United States Senate. His legacy on workers’ rights, civil rights, and human rights lives on in the quality of life and freedoms he ensured would be extended to all Americans, regardless of race, religion, gender, disability, economic status or any other factor.
The Massachusetts AFL-CIO joins the entire world in expressing our condolences to the Kennedy Family during this incredibly solemn time. The enormity of the loss of Ted Kennedy cannot be overstated, especially in terms of the impact his life has had on the pursuit of social and economic justice in this country.
Ted Kennedy epitomized humanity in every sense of the word. His larger-than-life presence was only outpaced by his kindness in the form of even the smallest, most humane gestures. Few public figures had the impact on others that Senator Kennedy had, traversing the entire spectrum from the indelible mark he left in both the history books and on individual lives.
The great lesson of his life is that even the hardest challenges are no match for determination in the pursuit of what is right. The working men and women of organized labor, and all working families, have been so fortunate that Senator Kennedy’s mission for a better country matched the virtues of our Labor Movement. We are overcome at this monumental loss, but we will honor his life and his legacy the only way we know how.
In the spirit of one of Ted Kennedy’s favorite poems, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO will strive, seek, find and not yield in the pursuit we shared with our Senator of improving the lives of all workers in this nation. Through that work, the dream will indeed live on.
Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill
My family and I were saddened to learn of Senator Kennedy's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues. His effect on my hometown of Quincy, the state of Massachusetts and the United States was significant, as was his ability to work with people from every walk of life. I was proud to cast my first vote for President for him in 1980, and many times for Senator thereafter. He will be sorely missed.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley
Today we mourn the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy and we extend our heartfelt prayers and sincere condolences to his wife Victoria and their children, Kara, Edward, Patrick, Curran and Caroline. Senator Kennedy was blessed with a dedicated and loving family who stood by his side, particularly during the past year as he faced his illness with courage, dignity and strength.
We join with his colleagues in Congress and the people of Massachusetts in reflecting on his life and his commitment to public service. For nearly half a century, Senator Kennedy was often a champion for the poor, the less fortunate and those seeking a better life. Across Massachusetts and the nation, his legacy will be carried on through the lives of those he served.
We pray for the repose of his soul and that his family finds comfort and consolation in this difficult time.
Former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift
Ted Kennedy's devotion to Massachusetts and to public service will be celebrated by individuals of every political stripe. While we belong to different parties, he was a solid ally on Massachusetts issues and a caring and kind colleague. I will remember both his service and his many quiet kindnesses to me and many others. Chuck and I will keep the Senator, Vicki and the entire Kennedy family in our thoughts and prayers.
US Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts
Today our country and the world lost a leading light and a legislative legend. Edward Kennedy was the greatest senator this country has ever known and an inspiration to all who have answered the call to public service.
Never afraid to sail against the wind in the name of justice, equality and opportunity, Senator Kennedy was a treasured friend and a legislator without peer. Throughout his distinguished career, he helped bring health care to millions of children, enabled many young people to afford a college education and ensured that so many could realize the American dream.
In these difficult times, my thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kennedy family, especially with Senator Kennedy’s wife Vicki, and with Kara, Teddy Jr. and my colleague Patrick.
To echo his own immortal words, the causes which he championed shall endure, his hopes will live on in the millions of people his work touched and the dreams of Ted Kennedy shall never die.
Jim Ogonowski, Republican candidate for Congress
My entire family was very saddened to hear of the passing of Ted Kennedy today. Over the past few years I’ve heard so many people tell their personal stories of respect and appreciation for a Senator that truly cared for his constituents and I have my own to tell.
Following the death of my brother, John Ogonowski, Pilot of September 11, 2001 American Airlines Flight 11, Senator Kennedy reached out to my family in so many ways offering support and respect. In addition to the many calls of comfort to our family members, Senator Kennedy attended John’s funeral and said something I will never forget. At the receiving line, he hugged my mother, and with complete understanding he said to her, “I know what you're going through, I watched my mother lose her son John too.
This statement exemplifies what made Ted Kennedy such a good man, and leader. He understood. His ability not just to hear, but truly empathize with those he represented was unprecedented. He was able to do that, because he wanted to, because he cared.
Regardless of politics, or policy, the greatest leaders are those that understand, respect and appreciate their constituents. That was Ted Kennedy. Ted Kennedy showed us that you win elections, but you earn respect. Ted earned the respect of world leaders, his colleagues, and most importantly the people of Mass.
The Ogonowski family wishes condolences to the Kennedy family on the passing of one of Massachusetts greatest native sons. May the outpouring of support from people around the world offer comfort to his family, just like he comforted the country in the face of many challenges his family faced.
May God have mercy on his soul.
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray
This is a profound loss for our Commonwealth, our country, and people around the world who have had Senator Kennedy as their champion for peace and justice. I am deeply saddened by his passing and I extend my sympathies to his wife Vicki, his children and the entire Kennedy family.
We all know of Senator Kennedy's reputation as a statesman and a leader in the United States Senate. For me, he has been an inspirational figure for decades. I will be forever grateful that I had the privilege of getting to know him and of working with him from my earliest days as a City Councilor and then as Mayor in Worcester.
Senator Kennedy may have walked with presidents and prime ministers, but he was always accessible to the people of Massachusetts and he was dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals and families in every region of the state that he loved.
James Roosevelt, president & CEO of Tufts Health Plan, co-chair, Rules and By-laws Committee, Democratic National Committee
It has been my privilege and good fortune to know and work with Sen. Kennedy for many years, both on politics and policy.
My wife, Ann, also worked on his staff in the early 1970s, where he fostered her lifelong dedication to environmental issues by his leadership in the areas of energy policy and conservation. When I would meet her outside the Senate Office Building at the end of a very long day, Sen. Kennedy would still be at the office or just leaving the building, carrying a bulging bag of reading material in preparation for the next day’s work.
In my mind, his success in the Senate derived from his innate ability to create consensus among those with disparate points of view, and his fundamental belief that the role of government was to help its citizens. That clarity drove his actions. He remained focused on achieving an outcome that, in some way, would improve the life of an average person, and those most in need. He used his charm, his wit and his power—everything available in his arsenal—to reach his goal, which was always to make our country more humane and to ensure that America’s benefits were accessible—in equal measure—to all its citizens.
This was never truer than in his fight for universal health care coverage. I heard him tell this story when asked how he could support universal coverage that did not include the controversial single payer system. He said, “Years ago, there was a young geography teacher who had moved down to a rural area in the south, and was looking for a job. The local school board was split between evolutionists and creationists. This young man knew that he would be asked his opinion, and that his answer would decide his future. At that fateful moment in the interview when asked how he would teach his students geography, he answered, 'I can teach it round or I can teach it flat.'
That was Ted Kennedy. He could teach it round or teach it flat. He understood that differences could be overcome, and that what was most important was finding a better way forward. We claim him as a son of Massachusetts, but as with a select few before him, he now belongs to the nation, and there will never be another like him.
Boston City Council President Michael Ross
From a young age, Senator Kennedy was taught that to those whom much is given, much is expected. He took that lesson to heart, fighting for the most vulnerable of Americans. What I most admired about the Senator was his ability to build a coalition when others thought it would be impossible. Kennedy had an unparalleled capacity for bringing parties with disparate issues to the table and finding a solution to some of our nation’s biggest challenges, from civil rights to health care.
He inspired generations of leaders, both at the national and municipal levels, to help those who need it most.
US Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts
Senator Kennedy’s death is an incalculable loss to the country. His leadership on so many issues, and his emphasis on reducing unfairness in our lives made him one of our greatest national assets. He was the most effective Senator in American history because of his great talent and the respect that other Senators had for him.
The state of Massachusetts has lost our most effective advocate at the national level because Senator Kennedy never let his leadership on national issues in any way diminish his commitment to the people of Massachusetts. Finally, on a personal level having had the chance to work with him was a great privilege. His generosity of spirit and gift for friendship made being his colleague a joy. We have lost a great American hero.
Bentley University President Gloria Larson
The nation and the state of Massachusetts lost a true leader and champion of the people with the passing of Senator Kennedy. He was a role model to so many of us in every sense of the phrase. His commitment to service and to the community is legendary as evidenced by the Edward M. Kennedy National Service Act named in his honor earlier this year.
We will always cherish our work with him and our memories of him. As a champion for higher education and students across the nation, there was none better. We mourn his loss and extend our best wishes to his family and colleagues. We will continue to learn and benefit from his work on behalf of us all.
Boston City Councilor Sam Yoon
Out of respect for the passing of Senator Kennedy I have suspended campaigning.
Senator Kennedy was a public servant of the highest order who dedicated his life to justice for all. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.
His memory lives on in the millions of Americans who benefit every day from his work as a United States senator.
For so many of us in the Commonwealth and throughout this country, our cares were his concern. From civil rights to health care, he used all his passion and clout to open doors for the common man and common woman. He advocated, he demonstrated, he negotiated and he inspired. His voice will forever echo in our minds and hearts.
We can honor his memory and his commitment to public service by continuing to fight for the ideals and values to which he devoted his life.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley
We lost a dear friend and a trusted ally in Senator Kennedy. He began his career in public service as a Suffolk prosecutor, and though he was only here a short time, his work in the decades that followed was in the spirit we here still embrace: the spirit of service to others and justice for all. Our thoughts, hearts, and prayers are with his many loved ones today.
Rev. William E. Dickerson II, pastor at Greater Love Tabernacle in Dorchester
He recognized the power of the black church when they come together to support an event, or show their strength
He was a person who was concerned about everyone. He fought for civil rights. I think because of his fight for civil rights ... people felt it necessary to support him politically. He wanted fair housing for people. He fought for more affordable health care. He fought for more humane treatment for all.
Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis
He was a dear friend and colleague to Kitty and me, and one of the greatest US senators we have ever had. I can't even begin to count the number of times he helped me and the Commonwealth during the 12 years that I was governor with a rare combination of intelligence, commitment, and courage. Our hearts go out to his family.
John Walsh, chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party
It is with deep gratitude for his service to our state and to our country and sadness for our loss that the Massachusetts Democratic Party says farewell to our senior Senator Ted Kennedy. He and his family inspired generations. His effectiveness built a legacy of accomplishment that any Senator will find difficult to match. His example will always remind us to fight for what is right and to always look for the opportunity to move forward by seizing and celebrating what is possible.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Kennedy family at this difficult time.
John Sasso, veteran Democratic political consultant who worked on Kennedy's 1980 presidential campaign
Senator Kennedy's long list of accomplishments sometimes blots out the rebuke that came his way over the years. Regardless, he never sought political safety.
When his brand of liberalism fell out of favor -- and some Democrats fell all over themselves to escape the 'liberal' label -- he continued to wear it proudly. That took courage.
No matter the country's cultural swings and no matter the political cost, he stayed what he was for decades --a reliable provider of hope for the voiceless and dispossessed.
State Senator Scott Brown, Republican of Wrentham
I join with people across the Commonwealth and throughout the Country in offering my deepest condolences to the Kennedy family upon the passing of US Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Having worked with Senator Kennedy on numerous projects and issues over the years, I always respected the commitment and passion he brought to everything he did. He was a true statesman who taught me that public service is truly about helping all people and going the extra mile for constituents. My office has tried to emulate the high standards that he set years ago.
He will be missed.
Lee Swislow , executive director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
We at GLAD were saddened today to hear of the passing of our great ally and civil rights champion, Senator Edward Kennedy. I only met the senator once, but as he did with so many others, he made an impression. At that time GLAD had won marriage equality in Massachusetts, but the Massachusetts Legislature had not yet voted to repeal the state's "1913" law — the law prohibiting out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if they legally could not marry in their home states. I introduced myself as GLAD's executive director. Without missing a beat the senator said, "We have got to get rid of that 1913 law." What struck me about this conversation was that he needed no prompting. The senator knew about the 1913 law and GLAD’s work to overturn it because he genuinely cared about our community. His position on marriage equality was driven not by politics but by his sense of what was right. When GLAD advocated for marriage over civil unions, Senator Kennedy understood that true equality means marriage for all. Senator Kennedy supported not just the right for same-sex couples to marry, but also our right to be treated as equals by our federal government. In 1996, he was one of only 14 senators to vote against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which to this day prohibits legally married same-sex couples from accessing federal rights, protections, and benefits available to all other married couples.
Christy Mihos, Republican candidate for Massachusetts governor
I knew Ted Kennedy as a fellow Cape Codder, who like all of us here, found the peace and tranquility of our beautiful region of Massachusetts to be a true respite from the challenges of the world around us. I would regularly see the Mya sail by our home.
Ted Kennedy was the Cape's best sailor, by far. The serenity of Cape Cod perfectly matched the genuine kindness, and commitment to human justice, of Ted Kennedy. Although we came from different parties, I have always respected the contribution Senator Kennedy and his family have made to Massachusetts and the nation.
Andrea and I are deeply saddened by Ted Kennedy's passing and continue to pray for Vicki Kennedy and all the members of the Kennedy family.
Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition
Senator Kennedy was a towering inspiration to all of us fighting for the rights and dignities of immigrants and refugees, and to all those who yearn for the warmth of liberty's torch.
Massachusetts NOW President Vicky Steinberg
Mass. NOW is devastated by the loss of such a powerful champion for women’s and civil rights, and his expertise, enthusiasm, and influence will be sorely missed.
Former Boston Mayor Kevin White
Ted Kennedy and I grew up in politics together, and he was a wonderful political classmate. One of the most important things he taught me was how to get a federal bill through, how best to access the federal funds that were important for so many programs in the city. He never took the credit, however. He was always there for me whenever I needed some advice--just as he was always there for so many people through all the years. An era has passed. We won’t see his like again.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more