Shriver, Eunice Kennedy (1921–)

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Shriver, Eunice Kennedy (1921–)

American advocate and founder. Name variations: Eunice Kennedy. Born Eunice Mary Kennedy in Brookline, Massachusetts, July 10, 1921; dau. of Joseph Patrick Kennedy (financier, diplomat, and head of several government commissions) and Rose (Fitzgerald) Kennedy; sister of John F. Kenney (US president); granted a bachelor's degree in sociology from Stanford University, 1943; m. (Robert) Sargent Shriver, in 1953; children: Robert Sargent Shriver III (b. 1954, investor and film producer); Maria Shriver (b. 1955, NBC correspondent); Timothy Perry Shriver (b. 1959, CEO of the Special Olympics); Mark Kennedy Shriver (b. 1963, Maryland legislator and telephone executive); Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver (b. 1965, mental-retardation activist and president of a drug-delivery company).

Pioneer in advocacy for the mentally and physically challenged, president for many years of the Joseph Kennedy Foundation, and a founder and organizer of the Special Olympics; worked in the US State Department (1943–45); became foundation director of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation for the care and research of the disabled (1957); campaigned for brother John F. Kennedy for presidency of US (1960); during Kennedy's presidency, became advocate for the developmentally challenged (1962); instituted private day camp for the retarded (1963); joined others in establishing the Special Olympic Summer Games (1968); retired as president of the organization (1988).

See also Laurence Leamer, The Kennedy Women (Villard, 1994); and Women in World History.