If it were not for his last name and his family, Ted Kennedy would have gone nowhere. The choices that he made as a person and that he continued to make would have been too grave a taint.
And then, to have held the same elected position since 1962 is way too much. I've known of some people who had been in office for just as long and even longer, but I'm hard pressed to think of any that came to think of their post as something they were entitled to. Ted Kennedy did however, and it thoroughly corrupted his character as a supposed public servant.
The only other thing that I can add is that I sincerely hope he made peace with God before passing away. I don't think that's impossible for anyone.