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Boston, Nation Mourn The Loss Of Eunice Kennedy Shriver

This article is more than 11 years old.

Reaction to the death of JFK's sister and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who died Tuesday at age 88:

President Obama:

Above all, she will be remembered as the founder of the Special Olympics, as a champion for people with intellectual disabilities, and as an extraordinary woman who, as much as anyone, taught our nation - and our world - that no physical or mental barrier can restrain the power of the human spirit. Her leadership greatly enriched the lives of Special Olympians throughout the world, who have experienced the pride and joy of competition and achievement thanks to her vision.

Her brother, Sen. Edward Kennedy:

"She understood deeply the lesson our mother and father taught us - much is expected of those to whom much has been given. Throughout her extraordinary life, she touched the lives of millions, and for Eunice that was never enough."

Her son Timothy Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics:

She believed that people with intellectual disabilities could — individually and collectively — achieve more than anyone thought possible. This much she knew with unbridled faith and certainty.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, husband of Kennedy Shriver's daughter Maria Shriver:

(She) changed my life by raising such a fantastic daughter, and by putting me on the path to service, starting with drafting me as a coach for the Special Olympics.

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley:

Her efforts provided opportunities for young people across the global community to see the value and dignity of every human person, and she taught those valuable life lessons through competitive sports. She was a champion for all Americans and we give thanks for her commitment, care and love for all people. Her death is a great loss for our Catholic Community, but her life has left a deep and lasting impression upon the hearts of those who knew her and her work.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.:

Eunice personified the Kennedy family's call to public service by championing the rights of the disabled through the Special Olympics. Her memory will live on through the millions of individuals who are leading meaningful lives because of her vision. She dreamed of a world which knew no barriers to those with intellectual disabilities, and she leaves behind a world much better than which she found it.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick:

Eunice Shriver was a champion for people with intellectual disabilities and for human dignity. She embodied the Kennedy family's proud tradition of public service, and with tireless advocacy and unwavering compassion, forever changed millions of people's lives for the better. Our hearts go out to her family.

Special Olympics President Brady Lum:

Today we celebrate the life of a woman who had the vision to create our movement.

Her nephew Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I.:

I remain truly in awe of her impact around the globe as a champion for people with intellectual disabilities. She exemplifies what it means to dedicate one's life to public service, to a vision of fighting for basic human rights for people around the world.

Former first lady Nancy Reagan:

Eunice Shriver's death is a huge loss for all of us. I remember vividly when Ronnie presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House in 1984. He said then that, 'her decency and goodness have touched the lives of many, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver deserves America's praise, gratitude, and love.' ... My love and sympathy goes out to the entire Shriver and Kennedy families at this very difficult time.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown:

Her pioneering work for the Special Olympics has changed the lives of millions throughout the world. She will be mourned throughout the world. My thoughts are with her family.

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, former California congresswoman:

Eunice Shriver was one of those people who worked tirelessly behind the scenes but was ahead of her time. She was a quiet leader. Coming from a family of public servants, she never ran for a political office, but her love for her country, and commitment to public service and something bigger than herself, is what I have admired about her for a very long time.

This program aired on August 11, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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