Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal icon who carried on his family name and fight for the poor and working class after his brothers' assassinations, has died at 77.John F. Kennedy , was elected president, and was the third longest-serving senator in history. In a statement Wednesday, President Barack Obama called him "the greatest United States senator of our time."Aftter the deaths of President Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, he became the patriarch of a famous family that included John F. Kennedy Jr.., Caroline Kennedy, Maria Shriver, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics who died earlier this month.
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Kennedy became a symbol of liberalism for supporters and critics alike, pushing for health care, civil rights, and better education at every turn. He challenged a sitting Democratic president in 1980, but his presidential ambitions were hampered by a personal scandal: a 1969 auto accident that resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. The tragedy became known as the Chappaquiddick incident.He ended his 1980 run with a speech that became a regular rallying cry of his supporters and a far larger body of Americans who consider themselves champions of social justice: "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." Kennedy is survived by his second wife, Victoria, and his three children: Kara, Edward Kennedy Jr., and Patrick Kennedy, who is a member of the House of Representatives.CBS News will air "Ted Kennedy: The Last Brother," anchored by Katie Couric, Wednesday at 8/7c. Click here for a list of full TV coverage of Kennedy's death.