Friday, April 5, 2013

Great Americans A to Z: Eunice Kennedy Shriver

E is for Eunice Kennedy Shriver who was another one of my favorite heroines. She was more than just another Kennedy, as if being that weren't enough. Sister to JFK, she branded her own identity with a series of selfless and humane acts, making such an impact on the world that she moved us to brand her image on a U.S. silver dollar coin

Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1921-2009) graduated from college with a sociology degree and became a social worker for government programs that assisted women and juvenile delinquents. In politics, Eunice was no cookie cutter: she was a democrat but advocated pro-life, and she was a democrat whom republicans loved. Eunice was the recipient of numerous awards from both republican and democratic politicians for her volunteer work, and she has received honors designated only for presidents and first ladies, though she never served in these positions.

In 1962, Eunice founded Camp Shriver, a sports organization for individuals with disabilities. This organization would later be known as the Special Olympics.

In her own words, Eunice empowered people with disabilities:

“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 be anyone’s neighbor – you have earned it!”

Listen to Eunice’s speech here: 

Do you feel that American schools and workplaces have improved in including individuals with disabilities? 


  1. Good post! I had heard of Eunice but didn't know anything about her work. As a Scot, and ex-primary teacher, I can say that here in Scotland there has been a great move for nearly two decades to really 'include' people with disabilities in our schools in mainstream classes.
    Nancy at Welcome to she said, he said

  2. The Kennedy family has so many amazing people in it!! Eunice is one of them!
    Thank you for visiting my blog!
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

  3. Chantali, the Kennedy clan has constantly fascinated me. But poor Eunice was always a background player for me. Thank you for bringing this compassionate human being to the forecourt. And thanks for your kind response to my "Dickens" post. You write so very well.

  4. I've heard so much about Maria Shriver, but I didn't know as much about her mother. Thanks for writing about her.

  5. You picked a good one today! She's one of my favorite people. Just a huge giver! Amazing family. Thanks for posting.

    KaTy Did at Life's Ride As I See It

  6. good person to highlight
    I've worked with the special needs community for decades. I think there have been improvements but not enough for all that we know and could do

  7. What a wonderful pick--and post. She was a good human being. I wish our political arena included more people like her. :-)

  8. I'd classify her as a classy broad! :)

  9. This is so cool! I volunteered for a Special Olympics event once and never knew anything of its history. I'll have to see if they need volunteers for their next event.

  10. I've never heard about her, and yet she's a world class lady who accomplished a lot. I'm glad you shared her story.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  11. Thanks for sharing; I did not know about her. -Belinda [A - Z participant]

  12. What a great idea for A to Z and a wonderful start to your blog. I had not heard of Biddy before but did the others. Always good to read inspirational stories about people who made it against the odds.
    A to Z buddy, Jagoda from

  13. Interesting, hadn't heard of her before,thanks. Happy A to Z.

  14. Awesome! Do you know if after A to Z you will still be profiling Americans? I'm thinking of putting a teaching directory of blogs together and I think this would go well in the history blogs.
    Kids Math Teacher

  15. I don't plan to continue this series, but I will stick to an educational theme. Would love to be part of your directory! Thanks for reading everyone!


Chontali Kirk