SLIDESHOW: Sen. Edward M. Kennedy: Feb. 1932 â€“ Aug. 2009
WASHINGTON -- In the quiet of a Capitol elevator, one of Edward M. Kennedy's fellow senators asked whether the Massachusetts senator had plans for a family Thanksgiving away from the nation's capital. No, he said shaking his head in reply, and mentioned something about visiting his brothers' gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery.
In his half-century in the public glare, Kennedy was, above all, heir to a legacy -- as well as a hero to liberals, a foil to conservatives, a legislator with few peers.
Alone of the Kennedy men of his generation, he lived to comb gray hair, as the Irish poet had it. It was a blessing and a curse, as he surely knew, and assured that his defeats and human foibles as well as many triumphs played out in public at greater length than his brothers ever experienced.