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A chronology of the life of Sen. Edward Kennedy

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 26 2009 8:58 a.m. MDT

Highlights in the life of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy:

Feb. 22, 1932: Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy is born in Boston, the youngest of nine children of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy.

May 1951: Is caught cheating on an exam and leaves Harvard College. Enlists in the Army and serves for the next 16 months. Later re-enrolls at Harvard.

June 1954: Graduates from Harvard and enrolls at the University of Virginia Law School. Graduates from law school in 1959.

Nov. 29, 1958: Marries Virginia Joan Bennett, known as Joan.

Nov. 8, 1960: Kennedy's brother, John F. Kennedy, is elected president.

March 1962: Resigns as assistant district attorney in Suffolk County, Mass., and announces his candidacy for brother John's unexpired Senate term.

Nov. 6, 1962: Is elected U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

Nov. 22, 1963: President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.

June 19, 1964: Kennedy's back is broken in a plane crash that kills aide Edward Moss and the pilot, Edwin Zimny. Sen. Birch Bayh of Indiana and his wife, both passengers, are also injured.

Nov. 3, 1964: Brother Robert F. Kennedy is elected to the Senate from New York. Meanwhile, Ted Kennedy — still recovering from the June plane crash — wins a full Senate term in Massachusetts.

March 1968: Robert F. Kennedy announces his candidacy for the presidency.

June 5, 1968: After winning the California primary, Robert F. Kennedy is shot in Los Angeles and dies the next day.

July 18, 1969: Ted Kennedy drives his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick, Mass., and manages to escape. His passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowns. Kennedy later pleads guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, a misdemeanor, and receives a two-month suspended sentence and a year's probation.

July 25, 1969: Delivers a television address to explain his actions at Chappaquiddick.

Nov. 3, 1970: Is re-elected to the Senate but loses majority whip position. Chairs the Senate Health Committee.

November 1979: Announces his candidacy for the 1980 presidential nomination, challenging President Jimmy Carter.

January-June 1980: Wins Democratic primaries in nine states and the District of Columbia. The rest go to Carter.

Aug. 12, 1980: In an emotional speech to the Democratic National Convention, withdraws his bid for the presidency.

December 1982: Announces he will not run for president in 1984. After 24 years of marriage, he divorces his wife, Joan.

Dec. 19, 1985: Announces he will not run for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination.

March 1991: A woman accuses Kennedy's nephew, William Kennedy Smith, of raping her at the family's compound in Palm Beach, Fla. Smith is later acquitted. At the trial, Kennedy testifies about taking his nephew and son Patrick to the nightclub where Smith met his accuser.

June 11, 1991: A conservative political group files an ethics complaint against Kennedy, alleging that he violated Senate rules by his actions relating to the alleged rape. The Senate Ethics Committee dismisses the complaint.

July 3, 1992: Marries Victoria Reggie, a Washington lawyer.

Oct. 13, 1994: Senate Ethics Committee dismisses allegations of sexual harassment and drug use.

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