Ted Kennedy has been senator forever, since 1962, the second longest-serving politician in that Congressional chamber. He's always been there.
So it seems especially sad to learn today that the sole suriving Kennedy brother, the only one to live past the age of 46, has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor after suffering a seizure over the weekend.
A preliminary biopsy identified a malignant glioma, the Associated Press reports. Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types -- such as glioblastomas -- to about five years for different types that are slower growing.
Kennedy, age 76, "remains in good spirits and full of energy," his Boston doctors report. He's always been the Kennedy son who beat the odds.
His great friend, Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, was in tears at a press conference today and couldn't speak.
"I'm having a hard time remembering a day in my 34 years here I've felt this badly," said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont
"Laura and I are concerned to learn of our friend Senator Kennedy's diagnosis," President Bush said. "Ted Kennedy is a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength, and powerful spirit. Our thoughts are with Senator Kennedy and his family during this difficult period. We join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery."