[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/26/art.obamaken.gi.jpg caption="President Obama hailed Kennedy as an 'extraordinary leader.'"](CNN) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy marks the "passing of an extraordinary leader."
He knew Kennedy's death was coming for some time, but was "awaiting it with no small amount of dread," Obama said from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where he has been on vacation.
Kennedy's ideals are "stamped on scores of laws" and helped mold an America that is "more just," Obama added.
The "extraordinary good that he did lives on."