Massachusetts Sen. Edward M Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate, has died after battling a brain tumor. He was 77.
Kennedy's family announced his death in a brief statement released early on Wednesday.
For nearly a half-century in the Senate, Kennedy was a dominant voice on health care, civil rights, war and peace, and more. To the American public, though, he was best known as the last surviving brother of a storied political family.
Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1962, when his brother John was president, and served longer than all but two senators in history.
Over the decades, Kennedy put his imprint on every major piece of social legislation to clear the Congress.