Known as the "Liberal Lion of the Senate," U.S. Sen. Edward "Ted" Kennedy, the brother of ex-President John F. Kennedy, has died. He was 77.
The Democratic Massachusetts senator was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May of 2008. Yet a grueling regiment of chemotherapy wasn't enough to defeat the cancer.
Kennedy's death closes the triumphant-yet-tragic saga of America's most famous political family. He was the last surviving child of nine Kennedy children. The next generation of Kennedys -- namely Robert Kennedy Jr. and Patrick J. Kennedy -- have pursued political and activist causes, but a remarkable era of soaring accomplishments and devastating lows that captivated a nation for decades has unquestionably ended.
Kennedy replaced his brother in the Senate in 1962 so JFK could run for president. Ted Kennedy would be re-elected seven more times.
In a statement released late Tuesday night, the Kennedy family said: "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism, and perserverence will live on in our hearts forever."