The Kennedy Family’s True Legends and Legendary Truths

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Of all the essays expounding on the meaning of Ted Kennedy’s life, and legacy he represented, I find this one the most insightful. But I may be biased, since it is written by TIME’s David Von Drehle, and appears in the next newstand issue. A taste:

But in the end, it will be said by all but his fiercest critics that Ted Kennedy walked tall and far, given his superhuman burden. There was something genuinely noble about his refusal to give in, the way he picked himself up from the canvas, even when he had knocked himself down — maybe especially when he had knocked himself down. It was his fate to prove that the Kennedys weren’t storybook princes conjured to life, and his triumph lies in the fact that he didn’t let the myth stop him. His sister Eunice, who died two weeks before Ted (only Jean survives from the nine Kennedy children), did something similar with her great creation, the Special Olympics. Her father had tried to erase the blemish of a handicapped daughter; this younger Kennedy chose instead to reveal the glory behind the blemish.

Read the whole thing here.