As a legislative deal maker, the Senator was exceptional. There is the famous story of how he won the support of a Texas Committee Chairman on an immigration bill. Senator Kennedy walked into the meeting with a plain manila envelope, and showed only the Chairman that it was filled with the Texan's favorite cigars. When the negotiations were going well, he would inch the envelope closer to the Chairman. When they stalled, he would pull it back. Before long, the deal was done.
Ted Kennedy understood Africa.
At the urging of his brother, Jack, he first visited the continent in 1956 after graduating from Harvard to gain insight into the African countries emerging from European rule, traveling to Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.