Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.
For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts. I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency. And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I've profited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.
An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time. And the Kennedy family has lost their patriarch, a tower of strength and support through good times and bad.
Our hearts and prayers go out to them today--to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.
Congressman Adam Schiff Comments on the Death of Senator Edward Kennedy
"All of our thoughts are with the Kennedy family, and the nation joins them in grief and in prayer. Senator Kennedy, the youngest and last surviving brother of a family that inspired millions of Americans to service, was one of the most influential and effective Senators to ever hold a seat in the United States Senate.
"It would be difficult -- impossible, really -- to find any American whose life was untouched by the body of his work and the breadth of the legislation he helped pass. Most notably, Senator Kennedy's work to protect the most vulnerable and the underserved has helped countless Americans prosper and enjoy a better life.
"At a time of enormous challenges and bitter division, Senator Kennedy's leadership will be severely missed. We have lost a great champion in the effort to reform our health care system, which he called 'the cause of [his] life.'"