Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert and Edward Kennedy, now lies in a Cape Cod Hospital surrounded by her husband, children and other family members. She has recently suffered a series of strokes after leading a full and inspiring life. Senator Ted Kennedy recently said of his sister, “She has the biggest heart of all.” Continuing, the Senator said, “She has made such an extraordinary difference in the lives of so many people around the world.”
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Stanford University, Eunice married Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. in 1953 who was a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School. They had five children, four boys and one girl; their daughter, Maria is married to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California. According to the Associated Press, Governor Schwarzenegger will not take part in the “National Clean Energy Summit” in Nevada, but will be with his wife, Maria and mother-in-law, Eunice Shriver.
Eunice’s sister, Rosemary Kennedy, had intellectual disabilities, which inspired Eunice to found the Special Olympics. She was awarded numerous honors and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan for the work she had accomplished over the years for people with intellectual disabilities.
Eunice is now 88 years of age. Her life has been rich and exciting at times. However, there has been much pain and heartache as well. Her older brother, Joe, died on August 12, 1944 during World War Two in the explosion of a bomber while flying over England. Her brother, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Her sister, Kathleen died on May 13, 1948 in a plane crash over France. Her younger brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968 while campaigning for President of the United States. However, Eunice carried on despite these tragedies fighting for the rights of the underprivileged. Joe, John, Kathleen and Bobby would have been extremely proud of their sister. She never tired, but kept fighting for the causes in which she believed. For fourteen years, her son, Timothy has been the chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics. Eunice and her husband have instilled in their children the desire to serve others and to strive to make the world a better place as did their mother.