Eunice Shriver, Sister Of JFK & Special Olympics Founder, Has Died
August 11, 2009
Shriver and her son Robert at the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai. (Mark Ralston / AP)
By Mark Memmott
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, 88, has died.
The younger sister of president John F. Kennedy, she became best known as the founder of the Special Olympics.
As NPR's Joseph Shapiro reports, like her brothers John, Bobby and Ted:
Eunice, too, was smart, politically savvy and fascinated by public policy. History professor Edward Shorter says the only thing that kept her from running for political office was the era she grew up in.
"Because in the 1950s, she couldn't go there," says Shorter, the author of The Kennedy Family and the Story of Mental Retardation. "She couldn't get on that political stage. Women weren't tolerated there."
The Boston Globe calls Shriver a "champion for the developmentally disabled."
Shriver's husband, Sargent, was the 1972 Democratic vice presidential nominee. Her daughter, Maria, is the wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Sen. Edward Kennedy -- Teddy -- is battling brain cancer.