Among the results of last night’s American general elections: Ted Kennedy was elected to an eighth term as a senator from Massachusetts, and West Virginia’s Senator Robert Byrd was elected to a ninth term. (It’s a bittersweet year for Byrd: his wife, Erma Ora Byrd, passed away this spring after 68 years of marriage.)
Kennedy was born in 1932, making him a spry 74. Byrd turns 89 later this month. Coincidentally, that makes him the same age as Kennedy’s older brother, President John F. Kennedy, would be now were he still alive. Both men were born in 1917.
The U.S. Senate’s official site has a nifty list of its 20 longest-serving members. Byrd became #1 just this year, elbowing aside the late Strom Thurmond. Kennedy is now #3. The only other sitting senator on the list is Alaska’s Ted Stevens, first elected in 1968.
Another senator reelected last night, Utah’s Orrin Hatch, should join the top 20 list sometime around 2012. He was first elected in 1976 and will begin his sixth term next year.