Senator Ted Kennedy died late last night after a hard battle with brain cancer at the age of 77. Our thoughts go out to his family, who said in their statement:
"Edward M. Kennedy -- the husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle we loved so deeply - died late Tuesday night at home in Hyannis Port . . . 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."
Below is President Obama's statement on Kennedy's passing, saying he was "the greatest senator of our time."
AARP CEO Barry Rand released the following statement today on the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy:
"Early this morning older Americans lost a champion and this nation lost a role model. Senator Kennedy was a tireless fighter for the poor and the working class and the programs they relied upon, especially Medicare and Social Security. His life will stand as a shining example of what it meant to serve the public good. His loss will be deeply felt by our members and all Americans.
"Regardless of the issue, Senator Kennedy seemed to have one guiding principle: how will this help average Americans? He pushed his colleagues to ask themselves the same question and he challenged us all to make this nation an example for the world.
"His passing is especially devastating considering his lifelong goal to improve health care for this nation. As Congress seems poised to act this fall, Senator Kennedy will no doubt be watching with hope that this goal will be achieved. While his voice on this issue, and so many others, will be absent, his passion and wisdom must carry on.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kennedy family on their great loss."
AARP's Bulletin Today also wrote an obituary on the life of this leader that can be found here.