I am immensely saddened by the passing of my mother-in-law, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Eunice was the light of our family. She meant so much, not only to us, but to our country and to the world. She was a pioneer who worked tirelessly for social and scientific advances that have changed the lives of millions of developmentally disabled people all over the world.
Inspired by her faith in God and her love of her sister, Rosemary, she was on a life-long mission to expand opportunities for those with intellectual challenges and to prove that they are capable of great achievements.
Apart from her family, her greatest legacy is the Special Olympics, which started as a summer camp in her backyard in 1962, and has grown into a global movement and organization that has transformed the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
Eunice was the devoted mother of five children, including my dear wife, Maria. My mother-in-law 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. I will miss her every day, but I know her spirit endures through her amazing children and grandchildren, and through the many lives she changed.
Governor of California
The world knows Arnold Schwarzenegger as a famous bodybuilder and a Hollywood action hero, but he is also a successful businessman, generous philanthropist and California's 38th Governor.
Born in Austria in 1947, at 20 Schwarzenegger became the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title. He came to America shortly after, winning an unprecedented 12 more world bodybuilding titles. He earned a college degree from the University of Wisconsin and became a U.S. citizen in 1983. Three years later he married broadcast journalist Maria Shriver. Governor Schwarzenegger's most gratifying accomplishments are rooted in public service.
He and Maria have remained closely involved in Special Olympics. He was named Special Olympics International Weight Training Coach in 1979 and serves as a Global Ambassador. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Official Website