AT 36, Edward M. Kennedy became the youngest majority whip in the history of the U.S. Senate. By moving from a backbench to the cockpit of congressional power, the senior Senator from Massachusetts could now overtly exercise the influence that has hitherto been his primarily by virtue of legend, tragedy and guilt. He disavowed his election as a personal victory or as a steppingstone toward the presidency. "I view it," he said, "as expressing the sense of the Democratic Senators in favor of an aggressive and creative program in the upcoming Congress."

The loser...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!