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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Globe Washington Bureau Chief details Senator Ted Kennedy’s life

Published: March 20, 2009
Section: News

Canellos Speaks to Brandeis: Image Gallery

<i>PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot</i>

PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

Peter S. Canellos, Washington Bureau Chief for the Boston Globe and editor of “Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy,” spoke before an audience of 25 on Wednesday about the life and legacy of Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

The event, which was sponsored by club Gen Ed Now, the Schuster Institute, and the History Department, featured a review of Kennedy’s life by Canellos as well as a question and answer session.

Canellos, who pens the column, “A National Perspective,” for the Globe, described how news of Senator Kennedy’s brain cancer became a calling for the Globe to explore the Kennedy legacy in print.

“As the news [of Senator Kennedy’s cancer] fanned out around the country, people across the country turned to the Boston Globe,” Canellos said. “They had not been paying attention to the arc of his career.”

Canellos told the Kennedy story with ease, beginning with the Senator’s early grief dealing with deaths in his family, all of which culminated in the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and later, candidate for President, Robert Kennedy.

Canellos also identified milestones in Senator Kennedy’s career, such as his army service and time in boarding school, as events that shaped the “engaging” and “empathetic” Massachusetts Senator of today.

While Kennedy has, as Canellos admitted, made mistakes, such as his scandalous involvement in the Chappaquiddick incident in which he failed to report a car crash that killed Mary Jo Kopechne, to Canellos, Kennedy’s achievements, from his “unique accomplishments” in the 1980s in the area of Civil Rights to his “very substantial record” in the area of healthcare make his “record more significant than that of many presidents.”