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Sen. Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer

Kennedy, 77, Was Diagnosed With Brain Cancer in May 2008
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WebMD Health News

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Aug. 26, 2009 -- Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy died late last night at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., of brain cancer at age 77.

Kennedy had a malignant glioma, a type of brain cancer. A glioma is a brain tumor that begins in glial cells, which are cells that surround and support nerve cells.

In a statement posted on Kennedy's senate web site, the Kennedy family says, "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever. We thank everyone who gave him care and support over this last year, and everyone who stood with him for so many years in his tireless march for progress toward justice, fairness, and opportunity for all. He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it's hard to imagine any of them without him."

Kennedy Remembered

Condolences and remembrances have been posted by officials from both sides of the political aisle.

In a statement posted on the White House's web site, President Barack Obama says, "Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy."

"For five decades, virtually every piece of major legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well-being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts," Obama says.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Republican Senator from Utah, issued a statement saying that America had "lost a great elder statesman ... and I lost a treasured friend." Hatch called Kennedy "larger than life" and said that "many had come before, and many will come after, but Ted Kennedy's name will always be remembered as someone who lived and breathed the United States Senate and the work completed in its chamber."

Nancy Reagan, widow of former President Ronald Reagan, issued a statement saying she was "terribly saddened" to hear of Kennedy's death. "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 dear friend. I will miss him."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican Senator of California and husband of Kennedy's niece, Maria Shriver, is quoted by the Associated Press as saying that he had "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."

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