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Eunice Kennedy Shriver

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Born Eunice Mary Kennedy in Brookline, Massachusetts, she was the fifth of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald and the sister of President John F. Kennedy. 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 1968, she helped Anne McGlone Burke nationalize the Special Olympics movement.

In 1982, Shriver founded the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Center for Community of Caring at University of Utah, Salt Lake City. The Community is a grades K-12, whole school, comprehensive character education program with a focus on disabilities. 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 intellectual disabilities.

In 1990 Shriver was awarded the Eagle Award from the United States Sports Academy. The Eagle Award is the Academy's highest international honor and was awarded to Shriver for her significant contributions to international sport.

For her work in nationalizing the Special Olympics, Shriver received the Civitan International World Citizenship Award. Her advocacy on this issue has also earned her other awards and recognitions, including honorary degrees from numerous universities. 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."

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. In September 2010, the State University of New York at Brockport, home of the 1979 Special Olympics, renamed their football stadium after Shriver.


-Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunice_Kennedy_Shriver

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