After Diagnosis, Kennedy Wanted a 'Good Ending'

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2009 7:03 AM CDT
Ted Kennedy rides in a golf cart along with his wife Victoria Reggie Kennedy, behind center, on a wharf in Hyannis Port, Mass.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
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(Newser) – When Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with brain cancer, he insisted that he would have a "good ending for myself," and friends tell the New York Times that the late senator's last 15 months were filled with joy. He and his wife Vicki spent evenings watching 24 and James Bond films, and in July he enjoyed near-nightly dinner parties with family. He also raced to finish work and his memoirs, saying, "I've got to get this right for history."

By spring Kennedy's health was deteriorating, and he had trouble speaking in his final days. But he refused to fall into self-pity as he neared the end, and he had no time for reports from Washington about how much he would be missed—especially during debates on health reform. Chris Dodd, one of his closest friends in the Senate, said that Kennedy got out of bed every day until his last, and was fond of calling colleagues to say, "I'm still here."