"Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy...I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague...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."
The Kennedy Family
"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...He loved this country and devoted his life to serving it. He always believed that our best days were still ahead, but it's hard to imagine any of them without him."
Former President George W. Bush
"He was a man of passion who advocated fiercely for his convictions. I was pleased to work with Senator Kennedy on legislation to raise standards in public schools, reform immigration, and ensure dignity and fair treatment for Americans suffering from mental illness. In a life filled with trials, Ted Kennedy never gave in to self-pity or despair... He loved his family and his country - and he served them until the end."
Secretary Hillary Clinton
"When I was First Lady, we worked together to provide health insurance for America's children. When I arrived in the Senate, he was a generous mentor and a thoughtful colleague. We worked together to raise the minimum wage, improve education, and champion the cause we shared so deeply: ensuring that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care...I will always treasure the memory of his friendship."
Former President Bill Clinton
"Senator Ted Kennedy was one of the most influential leaders of our time, and one of the greatest senators in American history. His big heart, sharp mind, and boundless energy were gifts he gave to make our democracy a more perfect union."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
"Maria and I are immensely saddened by the passing of Uncle Teddy. He was known to the world as the Lion of the Senate, a champion of social justice, and a political icon. Most importantly, he was the rock of our family: a loving husband, father, brother and uncle...Teddy inspired our country through his dedication to health care reform, his commitment to social justice, and his devotion to a life of public service."
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.
"We have known for some time that this day was coming, but nothing makes it easier. We have lost a great light in our lives and our politics, and it will never be the same again. Ted Kennedy was such an extraordinary force, yes for the issues he cared about, but more importantly for the humanity and caring in our politics that is at the center of faith and true public service."
Former President George H.W. Bush
Barbara and I were deeply saddened to learn Ted Kennedy lost his valiant battle with cancer. While we didn't see eye-to-eye on many political issues through the years, I always respected his steadfast public service...Ted Kennedy was a seminal figure in the United States Senate - a leader who answered the call to duty for some 47 years, and whose death closes a remarkable chapter in that body's history.
"He was a true giant. He was a warm, funny, thoughtful, and generous friend and he was the most effective member of the United States Senate with whom I served. In the grief that Tipper and I share with so many, we know that the legacy of his brilliant work will carry on for decades to come. Ted was a champion for those Americans who had no voice...and they could have had no greater friend in the Senate."
"I was terribly saddened to hear of the death of Ted Kennedy tonight. Given our political differences, people are sometimes surprised by how close Ronnie and I have been to the Kennedy family. But Ronnie and Ted could always find common ground, and they had great respect for one another. In recent years, Ted and I found our common ground in stem cell research, and I considered him an ally and a dear friend."
Sen. Orinn Hatch, R-Utah
"Today America lost a great elder statesman, a committed public servant, and leader of the Senate. And today I lost a treasured friend. Ted Kennedy was an iconic, larger than life United States senator whose influence cannot be overstated...Ted Kennedy's name will always be remembered as someone who lived and breathed the United States Senate and the work completed within its chamber."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
"Senator Kennedy had a grand vision for America, and an unparalleled ability to effect change. Rooted in his deep patriotism, his abiding faith, and his deep concern for the least among us, no one has done more than Senator Kennedy to educate our children, care for our seniors, and ensure equality for all Americans."
Gov. Bill Richardson
"Ted Kennedy was a gladiator for the poor and for those that have been left behind...He was a political mentor of mine like many other politicians and he leaves a huge void, especially in progressive causes: health care, education, civil rights, human rights internationally. It's the kind of loss that will never be recovered."
"Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the Kennedy family. Senator Kennedy was a passionate voice for the citizens of Massachusetts and an unwavering advocate for the millions of less fortunate in our country. The courage and dignity he exhibited in his fight with cancer was surpassed only by his lifelong commitment and service to his country."
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.
"What he said of his brother Bob was true of him: Ted saw wrong and tried to right it, he saw suffering and tried to heal it. A passionate Democrat, he nonetheless was at the center of great bipartisan accomplishments over the last five decades of American public life. He knew when to stand and advocate and when to sit and negotiate. That's why he got so much done."
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
"The powerful have never lacked champions. Ted Kennedy was a champion for ordinary Americans and for those who struggle. He believed everyone in this great land deserves the opportunity to pursue the American Dream...In the Senate he labored to help reach bipartisan progress on health care, education, civil rights and voting rights, immigration reform and so much more."
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
"He was a friend, the model of public service and an American icon. As we mourn his loss, we rededicate ourselves to the causes for which he so dutifully dedicated his life. [His] legacy stands with the greatest, the most devoted, the most patriotic men and women to ever serve in these halls...The liberal lion's mighty roar may now fall silent, but his dream shall never die."
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
"It is with great sadness that Elaine and I note the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy, one of the giants of American political life, a longtime Senate colleague, and a friend. No one could have known the man without admiring the passion and vigor he poured into a truly momentous life. We send our deepest expressions of sympathy to Vicki, his children, and the entire Kennedy family."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
"In 1994, I joined the long list of those who ran against Ted and came up short. But he was the kind of man you could like even if he was your adversary."
Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.
"I'm not sure America has ever had a greater Senator, but I know for certain that no one has had a greater friend than I and so many others did in Ted Kennedy. I will always remember Teddy as the ultimate example for all of us who seek to serve, a hero for those Americans in the shadow of life who so desperately needed one."