Ted Kennedy Quotes: In His Own Words

Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died of brain cancer at the age of 77 Tuesday night in his Massachusetts home, had a storied 46-year Senate career and was credited for landmark legislations. He was also known for his fiery speeches and ability to rile up supporters.

VIDEO: The Kennedy family gathers in Hyannis Port to remember their beloved uncle.

Here are some of Kennedy's most memorable quotes from his legendary career:

"Since I was a boy, I have known the joy of sailing the waters off Cape Cod. And for all my years in public life, I have believed that America must sail toward the shores of liberty and justice for all. There is no end to that journey, only the next great voyage. We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make."

VIDEO: Sen. Ted Kennedy Dies

-- December 2008, on receiving an honorary degree from Harvard University

Visit ABC News' special section on Ted Kennedy.

"My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us, and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: 'Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.'"


-- June 1968, eulogizing his brother, Robert

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."

"The great adventures which our opponents offer is a voyage into the past. Progress is our heritage, not theirs."
-- August 1980, Democratic National Convention

"The more our feelings diverge, the more deeply felt they are, the greater is our obligation to grant the sincerity and essential decency of our fellow citizens on the other side.

"In short, I hope for an America where neither 'fundamentalist' nor 'humanist' will be a dirty word, but a fair description of the different ways in which people of good will look at life and into their own souls."

"I hope for an America where no president, no public official, no individual will ever be deemed a greater or lesser American because of religious doubt, or religious belief.

"I hope for an America where the power of faith will always burn brightly, but where no modern inquisition of any kind will ever light the fires of fear, coercion, or angry division.

"I hope for an America where we can all contend freely and vigorously, but where we will treasure and guard those standards of civility which alone make this nation safe for both democracy and diversity."
-- October 1983, Lynchburg, Va.

"Frankly, I don't mind not being president. I just mind that someone else is."
-- March 1986, Gridiron Club, Washington D.C.

Visit ABC News' special section on Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Watch video of historic Kennedy moments.

See photos of Sen. Ted Kennedy's life.

See photos of the Kennedy family's history of privilege and loss.

Sen. Ted Kennedy Quotes Through the Years

"I believe that each of us as individuals must not only struggle to make a better world, but to make ourselves better, too."
-- October 1991, apologizing for his shortcomings to voters at Harvard University

Key Moments in the Life of Ted Kennedy

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...