10 Facts about Ted Kennedy

In honor of late Senator Ted Kennedy, "Extra" has compiled a list of facts about the influential politician.

10 Facts about Ted Kennedy

The Kennedy Siblings

Teddy was the youngest of nine children — including older brothers President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

Wedding Bells

The senator married twice — he wed Virginia Joan Bennett in 1958, and later divorced. He wed Victoria Reggie Kennedy in 1992.

Best of the Rest

Kennedy was named one of “America’s 10 Best Senators” in 2006 by Time magazine.


In 1964, Ted was in a plane crash in which the pilot and one of Kennedy’s aides were killed.

Chappaquiddick Incident

In 1968, Kennedy made headlines when a car he was driving went off a bridge in Martha’s Vineyard, killing Mary Jo Kopechne, a staff member of Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. Kennedy was able to swim to safety, but Kopechne drowned. As a result, Kennedy suffered from back pain until his death over 40 years later.

Battle for the White House

In 1980, Kennedy ran against incumbent Democratic president Jimmy Carter. He lost the race.


All three of Teddy's children have had medical problems — Edward Jr. lost a leg to cancer, Kara survived cancer, and Patrick is bipolar.

Lion of the Senate

More than 300 bills written by Kennedy and his staff have been enacted into U.S. law.

Health Advocate

Teddy fought a life-long battle to improve the health care in the United States, which was triggered by his injuries in the plane crash.

Father Figure

After his brothers’ deaths, Ted Kennedy took on the role of surrogate father for their 13 children.