[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/28/wides.kennedy.work/art.burton.wides.jpg caption="Former Kennedy aide Burton Wides says the senator had a zest for politics and an appetite for hard work."]
Special to CNN
For half a century, Ted Kennedy was the most prolific senator on the political scene, making major strides in civil rights, civil liberties, education, human rights abroad, arms control, good government and of course health care.
You name it, he was there - and in the lead. To some tabloid readers, he was largely a spoiled Kennedy playboy. To his colleagues and staff who watched him up close year after year, and to millions of Americans who saw him fighting on so many fronts, he was a committed champion of equality, justice, peace and protection of those in need.
How did he do it? With incredibly long hours, amazing energy and hard work, coupled with a zest for politics - in the best sense - and legendary legislative mastery acquired over the years. His staff knew that when he was starting an initiative, his first priority instinctively was to win over as staunch a conservative as he could find to be his partner and original co-sponsor. It worked so many times.
Filed under: Sen. Ted Kennedy
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