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The one hundred honoree: Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Mass General Giving

Throughout his nearly five-decade tenure in the U.S. Senate, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1932–2009) was an ardent, effective warrior on behalf of the most vulnerable Americans and devoted his political prowess to marshal support across party lines to ensure unobstructed access to quality health care for all Americans.

His leadership and commitment to fight cancer resulted in a stronger National Cancer Institute and increased funding for cancer research, early detection screening and other initiatives that have helped to curb cancer deaths and educate the nation in its most pervasive public health risks — including lung cancer.

Among Senator Kennedy’s many endeavors to combat cancer was his collaboration with President Richard M. Nixon to pass the National Cancer Act of 1971. In 2008, while waging a public battle with brain cancer, he introduced legislation in partnership with Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas known as the 21st Century Cancer ALERT (Access to Life-Saving Early detection, Research and Treatment) Act, now in review by Congress.

“Cancer is a relentless disease,” said Senator Kennedy. “It doesn’t discriminate between men and women, wealthy or poor, the elderly or the young… It’s time to reinvigorate the War on Cancer.”

As a leader in that war, his legacy has helped countless Americans.