U.S. News

Flowers, tributes for Kennedy in home town

HYANNIS PORT, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Senator Edward Kennedy died at the family home on Cape Cod, a sprawling seaside retreat long associated with the famous American political dynasty.

Known as “Ted,” the onetime U.S. presidential hopeful died late on Tuesday, age 77. He had brain cancer.

Visitors stopped to leave flowers and balloons at the end of the street that leads to the family’s 6 acre (2.4 hectare) compound. A three-gabled white clapboard house is the centerpiece of the compound.

The property was the backdrop in early videos of assassinated president John Kennedy, one of Edward’s brothers, playing football on the sandy beach with his family or sailing in Nantucket Sound.

The family for years has sought refuge from the media at the compound. Often they fled tragedies that dotted the decades, including the death of the president’s son John Kennedy Jr. in a plane crash 10 years ago.

The brothers’ father Joseph Kennedy bought the property in 1929, the National Park Service said. What began as a beach cottage in 1904 grew into an 11-bedroom building surrounded by long porches, a swimming pool and a tennis court.

John Kennedy and another assassinated brother, Senator Robert Kennedy, bought homes nearby, expanding the property.

Cape Cod, with its quaint villages and picturesque coastline arching into the Atlantic, has long been a popular vacation spot in the northeastern United States.

In his later years Edward Kennedy was closely associated with the Nantucket Sound, where he often competed in sailing races. He staunchly opposed a proposal to build the first offshore U.S. wind farm in that body of water.

President Barack Obama and his family were on a week’s vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, an island across the bay from Hyannis Port.

Jack Moloney, 52, a resident of Centerville, Massachusetts, visiting the Cape with his family, ran into Kennedy on the Cape’s wind-swept beaches several times.

“It seemed like he really wanted to know about you,” Moloney said. “You’d tell him something and he’d remember it the next time he saw you.”

Editing by Howard Goller