Eunice Mary Kennedy Shriver
philanthropist, mental health activist
Birthplace: Brookline, Mass.
Shriver, the daughter of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy and the sister of President John Kennedy, has long advocated for the mentally retarded. In 1961 Shriver, whose sister Rosemary was retarded, helped to organize the Presidential Commission on Mental Retardation, and in 1962 she established the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, as well as the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Awards in Mental Retardation. Shriver is perhaps best known for creating the Special Olympics. Set up in 1968, the Special Olympics train and provide competition for nearly one million mentally retarded people worldwide. She also founded Community of Caring, a concept that encourages people to be responsible and caring citizens. In 1984, Shriver was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. She earned a BS in sociology from Stanford University.