New York lawyer Ted Sorensen was a speech writer for the late Senator Edward Kennedy. He worked in the White House for President John F. Kennedy and was an advisor to Senator Robert Kennedy, both who were assassinated. But these days Sorenson, a lawyer in New York City, is often simply called a friend of the Kennedys. This week, Sorenson spoke at home with VOA's New York Bureau Chief Bernard Shusman. Here, in his own words are Sorensen's reflections on the life of Edward Kennedy, who died late Tuesday night:

"Ted Kennedy, whom I knew -- whose's been a friend of mine for 56 years -- picked up the fallen torch of his brother, President John Kennedy, and his brother, presidential candidate Robert Kennedy, and carried forward that legacy -- striving to fulfill their ideals of accessible health care for all, of civil rights - equal opportunity for everyone in this country, and a good education for everyone in this country."

"Ted Kennedy, himself, would have told you the fulfillment of those Kennedy ideals is not dependent upon one person. It's not dependent even on a Kennedy. It's dependent upon all those who believe in that standard."

"I have many moments of pleasure with Ted Kennedy, because he was part of a wonderful family. And I took part in fishing trips and touch football games at Hyannis Port [Massachusetts] with all the Kennedys including Ted -- who was always the jolliest, the funniest and the most loveable of them all."

"I think President Obama is the man who will dream the same dreams, share the same ideals and carry that wonderful legacy forward."