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On Google, Kennedy is king

By / August 26, 2009

Joseph P. Kennedy and his wife Rosemary Kennedy pose with their nine children for this picture in 1938 at Bronxville, N.Y. From left are, seated: Eunice, Jean, Edward (on lap of his father), Patricia, and Kathleen. Standing: Rosemary, Robert, John, Mrs. Kennedy, and Joseph, Jr. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts was the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history.

Boston Globe/AP/File

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What are people searching for today? Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy.

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With the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy yesterday, Google saw a huge surge in online searches about the longtime politician, his family, and key points in his life.

Google Trends, which tracks the wax and wane of popular keywords, listed the following top 25 terms this morning:

1 – ted kennedy
2 – mary jo kopechne
3 – chappaquiddick
4 – mass lottery
5 – ronnie spector
6 – joan kennedy
7 – chappaquiddick incident
8 – victoria reggie kennedy
9 – chapaquitic
10 – edward kennedy
11 – vicki kennedy
12 – senator kennedy
13 – megamillions lottery results
14 – ma lottery
15 – mass lottery mega millions
16 – kennedy brothers
17 – mega millions winning numbers
18 – massachusetts lottery
19 – patrick kennedy
20 – teddy kennedy
21 – robert kennedy
22 – ed kennedy
23 – rabelaisian
24 – kennedy chappaquiddick
25 – hyannis port

Rarely does a single topic or person so dominate Google's Trends list. The world often has too many disparate interests to bring about this kind of a sweep. The last time something seized the list like this was Michael Jackson's passing in June. But even then, he took up only a few slots, and shared several with Farrah Fawcett, who also passed that week. Senator Kennedy, on the other hand, grabs not just most of the top 25 but most of the top 50, with searches for Kennedy children, Camelot, and curses.

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