- Historical event:
- 10 July 1921
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver was known among her siblings as a philanthropist and an advocate for the rights of intellectually and physically disadvantaged children and adults. The Pope declared her a Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. Her daughter, Maria Shriver, married Arnold Schwarzenegger, who later became the governor of California.
On this day in 1921 Eunice Kennedy, sister of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, was born as the fifth child.
Eunice was about four years younger than her brother who became President, but she was older than the other two famous brothers – Robert (Senator, State Attorney General and presidential candidate) and Edward (longtime Senator).
Eunice was known among her siblings as a philanthropist and an advocate for the rights of intellectually and physically disadvantaged children and adults. Her mother Rose was very esteemed for her philanthropy (the pope granted her the title of countess and she lived to be 104).
Eunice gained special merit for launching the Special Olympics. It all started when Eunice established a camp for children with intellectual disabilities in her own home. Later, sport was incorporated into that idea and the Special Olympics were established. Eunice had a sister with intellectual disabilities worsened by a failed lobotomy.
Eunice Kennedy was rewarded for her activities. The pope declared her a Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Reagan. It is interesting that Eunice was a pronounced Catholic, and even distinguished herself by holding a pro-life orientation among the supporters of the Democratic Party.
She married Robert Sargent Shriver (the U.S. Ambassador to France) and added Shriver to her Kennedy surname. Their daughter Maria Shriver married Arnold Schwarzenegger who later became Governor of California.