MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - Sen. Edward Kennedy, the last surviving brother of former President John F Kennedy, died of brain cancer at his home in Massachusetts on Wednesday at the age of 77.
Edward Kennedy was a prominent figure in U.S. politics for almost half a century, serving as a senator from 1962.
After hearing the news of Kennedy's death, U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement saying: "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."
Last year the senator underwent surgery to remove a tumor, but quickly returned to work in Congress. He served as Democratic chairman of the Senate's health and education committee until the late stages of his illness.
The Kennedy family said in a statement: "We've lost the irreplaceable center of our family and joyous light in our lives, but the inspiration of his faith, optimism and perseverance will live on in our hearts forever."
Victor Kremenyuk, the deputy director of Russia's Institute for USA and Canada Studies, called Ted Kennedy, whose death brought down the curtain on a political dynasty, "a symbol of aristocratism in U.S. politics".
However, he noted the late senator's special contribution to Barack Obama's election victory last year.
"Edward Kennedy contributed to Obama's triumph and supported him during the election campaign, despite being a representative of the white establishment era."
"In contrast to Russia, where the handover of power from the aristocracy to the masses was accompanied by a bloody revolution and civil war, in the U.S. this process was quite peaceful," Kremenyuk said.