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Senator Edward kennedy, RIP

He was the youngest of the Kennedy brothers, and probably the most controversial. He was also the longest-living, the one who died a "natural" death. He was Senator Edward Kennedy.

Kennedy's early career was steeped in controversy. As a freshman in Harvard College, he was expelled for hiring a "ghost taker" of a Spanish exam for him. Almost two decades later, he left a party at Chappaquidick with a young woman under suspicious circumstances, and drove his car into the water where the woman, but not he, drowned. It was a day later before he reported the accident.

He was hardly "the greatest United States Senator of all time," per the eulogy of a former fellow Senator, now President. But Kennedy had a number of solid legislative achievements, especially in connection with healthcare and civil rights.  These included a bill for the funding of cancer research, the "COBRA" and HIPAA" acts for the "portability" of employer provided health insurance, and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

On the foreign scene, Kennedy denounced a CIA "intervention" in Chile in the 1970s, led the fight against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s,  and voted against the Iraq war.