Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy was the youngest brother of John and Robert Kennedy. Educated at Harvard and at the University of Virginia Law School, he was admitted to the Masachusetts bar in 1959.
In 1962, Kennedy was elected to the US Senate, filling the seat vacated by his brother John after his election to the Presidency. Ted Kennedy became the youngest Senate majority whip in American history in 1969, but his reputation was considerably tainted by scandal.
On July 19, 1969, he drove off a bridge in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, killing a 28-year-old secretary, Mary Jo Kopechne, who was in the car with him. Kennedy pleaded guilty to charges of leaving the scene of an accident, but denied any romantic link to Kopechne. Although he decided to remain in Congress, he withdrew from seeking the Democratic nomination in the 1972 Presidential race.
Despite the cloud that lingered over his political career, Kennedy continued in the Senate as an influential and respected political leader until his death from brain cancer in 2009.