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Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Zurab Tsereteli with Eunice Kennedy Shriver (right) (unknown date).
Born Eunice Mary Kennedy
July 10, 1921(1921-07-10)
Brookline, Massachusetts,
United States
Died August 11, 2009 (aged 88)
Hyannis, Massachusetts,
United States
Resting place St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church parish cemetery
Centerville, Massachusetts, United States[1]
Alma mater Stanford University
Political party Democratic
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. (1953–2009, her death)
Children Robert Sargent Shriver III
Maria Owings Shriver
Timothy Perry Shriver
Mark Kennedy Shriver
Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver
Parents Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
Rose Kennedy (née Fitzgerald) and she was adoptied
Relatives see Kennedy family
Website
eunicekennedyshriver.org

Eunice Kennedy Shriver DSG (July 10, 1921 – August 11, 2009)[2] founded the precursor to the Special Olympics in 1962. In 1968, she helped Ann McGlone Burke popularize the Special Olympics movement across the U.S.

She was a member of the Kennedy family and actively campaigned for her elder brother, U.S. President John F. Kennedy, during his successful 1960 U.S. presidential election. Her husband, Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., is a former United States Ambassador to France, the founder of the Peace Corps, and was the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in the 1972 U.S. presidential election. Their daughter, Maria Shriver, is married to actor and current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Contents

Personal life and early career

Born Eunice Mary Kennedy in Brookline, Massachusetts, she was the fifth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald.

She was educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Roehampton, London, England; and Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology in 1943,[3] she worked for the Special War Problems Division of the U.S. State Department. She eventually moved to the U.S. Justice Department as executive secretary for a project dealing with juvenile delinquency. She served as a social worker at the Federal Industrial Institution for Women for one year before moving to Chicago in 1951 to work with the House of the Good Shepherd women's shelter and the Chicago Juvenile Court.[4]

On May 23, 1953, she married Sargent Shriver in a Roman Catholic ceremony at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, New York.[5] Her husband served as the U.S. Ambassador to France from 1968 to 1970 and was the 1972 Democratic U.S. Vice Presidential candidate (with George McGovern as the candidate for U.S. President).[5] They had five children:

With her husband she had nineteen grandchildren, the second-most of any of the children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Her brother U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy had eleven children who have produced thirty-two grandchildren.)

As executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation in the 1950s, she shifted the organization's focus from Catholic charities to research on the causes of people with intellectual disabilities and humane ways to treat it.[6] This interest eventually culminated in, among other things, the Special Olympics movement.

Upon the death of her sister, Rosemary Kennedy, on January 7, 2005, Shriver became the eldest of the four then-surviving children of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. Her sister, Patricia Kennedy Lawford, died on September 17, 2006, and her brother, U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, on August 25, 2009, leaving her sister, former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith, as her only surviving sibling. [7]

Political career

Shriver actively campaigned for her elder brother, John, during his successful 1960 U.S. presidential election.

In 1968, she helped Burke nationalize the Special Olympics movement and is the only woman to have her portrait appear, during her lifetime, on a U.S. coin – the 1995 commemorative Special Olympics silver dollar.

Although Shriver was a Democrat, she was a vocal supporter of the pro-life movement. In 1990, Shriver wrote a letter to The New York Times denouncing the misuse of a quotation by President Kennedy used out of context by a pro-choice group.[8] During Bill Clinton's 1992 Democratic U.S. presidential campaign, she was one of several prominent Democrats – including Governor Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania, and Bishop Austin Vaughan of New York – who signed a letter to The New York Times protesting the Democratic Party's pro-choice plank in its platform. Shriver was a supporter of several pro-life organizations: Feminists for Life of America,[9] the Susan B. Anthony List,[10] and Democrats for Life of America.

A life-long Democrat, she supported her Republican son-in-law Schwarzenegger's successful 2003 Governor of California election.

On January 28, 2008, Shriver was present at American University in Washington, D.C., when her brother, U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, announced his endorsement of Barack Obama's 2008 Democratic U.S. presidential campaign.[11]

Charity work and awards

In 2008, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development was renamed in honor of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

A longtime advocate for children's health and disability issues, Shriver was a key founder of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), a part of the National Institutes of Health, in 1962, and has also helped to establish numerous other health-care facilities and support networks throughout the country.

In 1982, Shriver founded the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Center for Community of Caring at The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. The Community of Caring is a grades "K-12, whole school, comprehensive character education program with a focus on disabilities...[that] has been adopted by almost 1,200 schools nationwide and in Canada".[12]

She was awarded the nation's highest civilian award, the (U.S.) Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1984 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan, because of her work on behalf of those with mental retardation.[13]

For her work in nationalizing the Special Olympics, Shriver received the Civitan International World Citizenship Award.[14] Her advocacy on this issue has also earned her other awards and recognitions, including honorary degrees from numerous universities.[15][16] She is the second American and only woman to appears on a US coin while still living. Her portrait is on the obverse of the 1995 commemorative silver dollar honoring the Special Olympics. On the reverse is the quotation, "As we hope for the best in them, hope is reborn in us."

Shriver received the 2002 Theodore Roosevelt Award (the Teddy),[17] an annual award given by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to a graduate from an NCAA member institution who earned a varsity letter in college for participation in intercollegiate athletics, and who ultimately became a distinguished citizen of national reputation based on outstanding life accomplishment.

In addition to the Teddy recognition, she was selected in 2006 as part of the NCAA Centennial celebration as one of the 100 most-influential individuals in its first century; she was listed ninth.[17]

Rare Halo Display: Portrait of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, David Lenz, 2009 / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; commissioned as part of the First Prize, Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition 2006.

In 2006 she received a papal knighthood from Pope Benedict XVI being named a Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. Her mother had been created a papal countess in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.[citation needed]

In 2008, the U.S. Congress changed the NICHD’s name to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In December 2008, Sports Illustrated named her the first recipient of Sportsman of the Year Legacy Award.[18]

On May 9, 2009, the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in Washington, D.C., unveiled an historic portrait of her, the first portrait the NPG has ever commissioned of an individual who had not served as a U.S. President or First Lady. The portrait depicts her with four Special Olympics athletes (including Loretta Claiborne) and one Best Buddies participant. It was painted by David Lenz, the winner of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition in 2006. As part of the Portrait Competition prize, the NPG commissioned a work from the winning artist to depict a living subject for the collection. Lenz, whose son, Sam, has Down syndrome and is an enthusiastic Special Olympics athlete, was inspired by Shriver’s dedication to working with people with intellectual disabilities.

Shriver became involved with Dorothy Hamill's special skating program in the Special Olympics after Hamill's Olympics Games ice-skating win.

Later years and death

Shriver, who was believed to have suffered from Addison's disease,[19] suffered a stroke and a broken hip in 2005, and on November 18, 2007, she was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where she spent several weeks.[20][21]

On August 7, 2009, she was admitted to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, with an undisclosed ailment.[22]

On August 10 her relatives were called to the hospital.[23] Early the following morning, Shriver died at the hospital; she was 88 years old.[2][24] No other Kennedy, with the exception of her mother, Rose, has lived longer.

Shriver's family issued a statement upon her death, reading in part,

"Inspired by her love of God, her devotion to her family, and her relentless belief in the dignity and worth of every human life, she worked without ceasing — searching, pushing, demanding, hoping for change. She was a living prayer, a living advocate, a living center of power. She set out to change the world and to change us, and she did that and more. She founded the movement that became Special Olympics, the largest movement for acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in the history of the world. Her work transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, and they in turn are her living legacy."[25]

Funeral and burial

On August 14, 2009, an invitation-only Requiem Mass was celebrated for Shriver at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in Hyannis. Following the Requiem Mass, she was buried at the St. Francis Xavier parish cemetery in nearby Centerville.[1] Pope Benedict XVI sent a letter of condolence to her family.[26] Because of his ill health, her brother Ted did not attend the funeral,[27] and their sister Jean stayed with him. He died two weeks later.[27][7]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Staff writer (August 14, 2009). "Special Olympians, Family Celebrate Eunice Kennedy Shriver". The Associated Press (at WJAR television's website turnto10.com). Retrieved August 16, 2000.
  2. ^ a b Grinberg, Emanuella (undated). "Eunice Kennedy Shriver dies". Edition.cnn.com. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/11/eunice.kennedy.shriver/. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  3. ^ Smith, J.Y. (August 11, 2009). "Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Founder of Special Olympics, Dies at 88" The Washington Post. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
  4. ^ Baranauckas, Carla (August 12, 2009). "Eunice Shriver, Founder of Special Olympics, Dies". The New York Times. (website registration required)
  5. ^ a b Archives. R(obert) "Sargent Shriver: An Inventory of His Personal Papers, 1948–1976, Papers (#214) – J" John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, John F. Kennedy Library National Archives and Records Administration
  6. ^ "Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics Founder, Dies at 88". washingtonpost.com. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/11/AR2009081100689.html. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  7. ^ a b Staff writer. "Ted Kennedy Dies of Brain Cancer at Age 77 — 'Liberal Lion' of the Senate Led Storied Political Family After Deaths of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy". ABC News. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
  8. ^ Biofiles: Eunice Kennedy Shriver [1]. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
  9. ^ Shriver, Eunice Kennedy, "Remarkable Pro-Life Women" (PDF format) The American Feminist, The Quarterly Magazine of Feminists for Life of America, Vol. 5, No. 4, Winter 1998–1999, p. 18. Accessed May 28, 2008.
  10. ^ Susan B. Anthony List, Notable Names Database. Accessed May 28, 2008.
  11. ^ Alexander, Amy, "A Torch Passed", The Nation, January 28, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
  12. ^ "About Community of Caring". Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Center for Community of Caring. Undated. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  13. ^ "Remarks at the Presentation Ceremony for the Presidential Medal of Freedom", Archives – Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. March 26, 1984. Accessed May 28, 2008.
  14. ^ Armbrester, Margaret E. (1992). The Civitan Story. Birmingham, AL: Ebsco Media. p. 95. 
  15. ^ "Eunice Kennedy Shriver – Doctor of Public Service" The Shriver Center, The University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Accessed May 28, 2008.
  16. ^ "Eunice Kennedy Shriver". Special Olympics. archive.org. Archived from the original on 2008-01-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20080128184416/http://www.specialolympics.org/Special+Olympics+Public+Website/English/About_Us/Leaders/Mrs.+Shriver+Bio.htm. Retrieved August 12, 2009. 
  17. ^ a b Staff writer (August 11, 2009). "2002 Teddy winner Shriver dies at 88". NCAA News (at the National Collegiate Athletic Association). Retrieved August 15, 2009.
  18. ^ Eunice Kennedy Shriver's legacy lives on with Special Olympics
  19. ^ Dallek, Robert (2003). An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917–1963. London: Penguin Books. pp. 105, 731. ISBN 978-0141015354. 
  20. ^ "Eunice Kennedy Shriver Hospitalized". Associated Press. washingtonpost.com. November 25, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/25/AR2007112500627_pf.html. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  21. ^ Beggy, Carol and Mark Shanahan, "She's loyal to father's 'Ideal'", The Boston Globe, January 14, 2008. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
  22. ^ McGreevy, Patrick. "Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver at Eunice Shriver's bedside", Los Angeles Times. August 7, 2009. Retrieved August 7, 2009.
  23. ^ Staff writer (August 11, 2009). "Eunice Kennedy Shriver's relatives called to hospital". CNN.com. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/10/eunice.kennedy.shriver/index.html. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  24. ^ Allen, Mike (August 11, 2009). "Eunice Kennedy Shriver dies". Politico.Com. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26007.html. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Statement from The Shriver Family". Eunice Kennedy Shriver's website. 2009-08-11. http://www.eunicekennedyshriver.org/articles/article/171. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  26. ^ "Pope's Letter to Kennedy-Shriver Family". http://www.zenit.org/article-26630?l=english. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  27. ^ a b McMullen, Troy (August 26, 2009). "The Last Kennedy — Death of Ted Kennedy Leaves One Surviving Child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy". ABC News. Retrieved August 26, 2009.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
William Cohen
Theodore Roosevelt Award (NCAA)
2002
Succeeded by
Donna de Varona

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Zurab Tsereteli with Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice Kennedy Shriver (10 July 195411 August 2009), born Eunice Mary Kennedy in Brookline, Massachusetts, was the fifth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald.

She founded the precursor to the Special Olympics in 1962. In 1968, she helped Ann McGlone Burke popularize the Special Olympics movement across the U.S.

Her husband, Robert Sargent Shriver, is a former United States Ambassador to France, the founder of the Peace Corps, and was the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in the 1972 U.S. presidential election. Their daughter, Maria Shriver, is married to actor and current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sourced

  • You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory. The right to play on any playing field? You have earned it. The right to study in any school? You have earned it. The right to hold a job? You have earned it. The right to anyone's neighbor? You have earned it.
    • Special Olympics World Games, South Bend, Indiana (1987).

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