His compassion and caring was always personal and always real. When my brother Perry died unexpectedly in December of 2007, Ted Kennedy was one of the first to call with condolences, sharing his sympathetic understanding of what it means to lose a sibling.
He had a powerful sensitivity to human emotion and his life writ large the range of human experience: great triumphs and sudden reversals. His tenacity often came against the heavy burden of deep personal tragedy, which enlarged the quality of his spirit, and made his frequent expressions of humor poignant and profound. Yes, he made himself into one of the greatest Senators, with his advocacy for human rights for health care, education and worker protections.