There are very few people in the United States who are unfamiliar with the Kennedy surname. Ted Kennedy was a member of a family known to us as a family with insurmountable political power that has been ravaged by both personal tragedy and public scandal. Ted Kennedy was born the youngest son of Rose Fitzgerald and John P. Kennedy on February 22, 1932. During his brother’s campaign Ted Kennedy gave a speech at the University to promote his candidacy for president of the United States, but this was just the beginning of his long and distinguished career in politics.
Ted Kennedy is famously known as the younger brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, both of whom were assassinated at the height of their political careers. Ted Kennedy’s life was rattled with much personal tragedy for him and his family. “It may be appropriate for Ted Kennedy’s life to be treated with sympathy by biographers and historians in that he was the kid brother living under the shadow of Joe Sr.’s favorite three sons, and only came to prominence in his own family after one brother was killed in World War II and the other two by assassination.” (Popejoy)
The website Biography discusses Ted Kennedy’s political contributions by saying, “Ted Kennedy campaigned for his brother, John F. Kennedy, in the 1960 presidential race. In 1962, shortly after his brother’s victory, Ted was elected to John’s former U.S. Senate seat. At the age of 30, he became a representative for the state of Massachusetts.” Popejoy writes, “It may be appropriate for Ted Kennedy’s life to be treated with sympathy by biographers and historians in that he was the kid brother living under the shadow of Joe Sr.’s favorite three sons, and only came to prominence in his own family after one brother was killed in World War II and the other two by assassination.”
On October 21, 1960, the Daily Utah Chronicle announced that Ted Kennedy would be coming to the University of Utah at noon to speak to students on behalf of his brother John F. Kennedy, since he was the director of the Democratic presidential campaign. This was just one stop on his nine-day tour of western state universities and colleges. The Daily Utah Chronicle reported that the brother of the Democratic presidential candidate, Ted Kennedy, spoke of university students encouraging enthusiasm and interest regarding politics in his speech at Orson Spencer Hall earlier that week.
In the “Letters to the Editor” section, the Daily Utah Chronicle was criticized for not giving more attention to Governor Clyde’s visit to the University of Utah, especially when there was extensive coverage regarding Ted Kennedy’s visit and speech. The paper was also criticized for this being a recurring theme, citing the lack of coverage regarding Senator Bennett also coming to the campus. The letter also disregarded any further excuses or justifications over the lack of coverage of public figures, claiming they were unfounded.
The August 19, 1960, issue of the Salt Lake Times reported, “Gov. Grant Sawyer of Nevada and Ted Kennedy, brother of the Democratic candidate for president, will be major speakers at the huge FDR Day rally.” That article later went on to call Ted Kennedy the campaign manager for his brother in 13 western states.
Ted Kennedy had an influential and far reaching career as a politician that lasted almost 47 years. In the 1960s the University of Utah got a small glimpse of the political prowess that was to come from him in the future. Popejoy notes, “The American public and the world tend to associate the Kennedy name with wealth, power, bold liberal legislative leadership, and often, unfortunately, unbecoming of men of their stature. Kennedy men boldly embraced life with gusto if not thoughtful restraint.” Ted Kennedy left a lasting impression on this country both with is legislative policies and eventful personal life.
Rachel Beus graduated from the University of Utah in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and a minor in History.
“Young Demos to Talk on Business,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 20, 1960.
“Ted Kennedy to Speak Before Campus Today,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 21, 1960.
“Ted Kennedy Lauds U Enthusiasm,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 24, 1960.
“Senator Moss Says U.S. ‘Must Align Nation on Freedom Side,’” Salt Lake Times, December 30, 1960.
“Letters to the Editor,” Daily Utah Chronicle, October 31, 1960.
“Kennedy, Sawyer to Speak at FDR Day Rally on Saturday,” Salt Lake Times, August 19, 1960.
“Ted Kennedy, U.S. Senator 1932-2009.” Biography.com. July 23, 2019.
Popejoy, Michael. “Last Lion: The Rise and Fall of Ted Kennedy.” Public Integrity 12, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 188–90.