Senator Edward M. Kennedy passed away early this morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 77. Kennedy, nicknamed "Ted," and known as the "Lion of the Senate" was first elected to represent Massachusetts in 1962. He is one of only six senators in U.S. history to serve more than 40 years. Throughout this time he played major roles in the passage of such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. He has also been one of the Senate's foremost champions of health care reform. Speaking to reporters after hearing the news of Kennedy's death, President Obama called him "not only one of the greatest senators of our time, but one of the most accomplished Americans ever to serve our democracy."