Happy Birthday, Teddy


* As Senator Edward M. Kennedy continues to battle terminal brain cancer, The Boston Globe paid homage’ to this icon of American politics with a lengthy biography published just before his 77th birthday.

Edward Moore Kennedy, ninth child of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy, was born on Feb. 22, 1932 – which just happened to be the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birthday. Whether or not he took it as an omen, the proud father, who already envisioned a Kennedy becoming the first Catholic president, often pointed out the felicitous date to others.

Ironically, the presidency would not be bestowed upon Teddy, of course. Nor would it be in the destiny of JP Kennedy’s eldest son Joe Jr., the one his father had always predicted would be president.

As fate would have it, the only member of the Kennedy family who achieved that goal was the one assumed least likely to make it: Joe’s second son, the chronically (and often seriously) ill John F. Kennedy.

And as fate would also decree, President Kennedy’s time in that high office would be tragically cut short by an assassin’s bullet after little more than a thousand days.

Jack’s younger brother Robert, attorney general of the United States, was next in line to lead the family political dynasty. Bobby picked up the torch and attempted to reclaim the presidency in his brother’s memory. After being elected senator from New York in 1964, RFK ran for the White House four years later and may well have completed the journey had it not been for his ill-fated campaign stop at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 4, 1968.

Ted (L), Jack (center) and Bobby (R) in Washington, D.C., 1958

Ted (L), Jack (center) and Bobby (R) in Washington, D.C., 1958

After losing all three of his elder brothers and seeing his father incapacitated by a stroke, Ted Kennedy, then-senator from Massachusetts, suddenly became the unlikely patriarch. For the next 40 years, not a day would pass that Teddy didn’t have someone approach and ask him to run for the presidency.

Despite a 1964 plane crash that almost killed him and the 1969 Chappaquiddick incident which nearly ruined his political career, Ted Kennedy did make a run for the White House in 1980, but lost the Democratic nomination to President Jimmy Carter. Well, he gave it the old college try, as they say, then he wisely chose to spend the rest of his years focusing on the responsibility of being a U.S. Senator. Ted seemed happy with his choice and never looked back.

But that didn’t stop people from asking. Would he ever run again? Why not the Presidency, they asked him over and over again as the years turned into decades. He’d say no a thousand times, and still the question was repeated.

Well, they finally stopped asking one day last May. When it became known that Senator Kennedy had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, that long-held dream of putting the last Kennedy brother in the White House was over.

As Ted Kennedy prepares to sail on his final voyage, heading for that bright horizon where he will reunite with all of his beloved friends and family who sailed before him, we’d like to encourage our readers to honor his birthday and celebrate his remarkable life. One way to do it is to take some time out of your busy day and read this well-researched and often moving tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy in the Boston Globe. Highly recommended.

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Filed under JFK, John F. Kennedy, media, politics, president kennedy, RFK, RFK Jr., robert f. kennedy, robert kennedy jr., senator robert kennedy, the kennedys, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Happy Birthday, Teddy

  1. Gloria

    Dear Senator,

    Sorry for my one day delay in expressing you my best wishes on the first 77 years of your life. No doubt you’ll be receiving this kind of messages for 77 more!! . Although far and not american you and your health’s improvement are in my every night’s prayers. God bless you and all my love and admiration.


  2. michael seratt

    dear sen. kennedy, i want to second what gloria said and add something. as rfk was a stand-in for jfk you have been a stand-in for them. some say that camelot died with bobby or at cappaquidick, but i have never looked at it that way. you and your family have fought the good fight and derailments fatal or otherwise are unacceptable. surely the american people will not allow injustice for bobby to stand. the election of barack obama to the Presidency which you requested is part of the fulfillment to turn around that injustice . i hope and pray in the near future we can witness the american people hearing bobby,s call for social justice and human rights and living out the true meaning of our creed. at bobby’s funeral you said you prayed that what he was to you would some day come to pass for all the world. i want that prayer to com to pass for you,your family,friends and supporters. your’re the greatest. happy birthday senator ted kennedy. sincerely yours, michael seratt

  3. Yes, Happy Birthday Mr. Kennedy.

    In the honor of your brothers names and in the price your family and yourself have paid over your lifetimes… I personally thank you.

    May all your kin rest in peace. I vest my name and time to carry their voice to have relevance in our very world today.


    The crimes we are finding are horrible, dark and deep… We now have promises, like your brothers to keep… and miles to go sir… Until we sleep.

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