Eunice Shriver, sister to President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy, was the founder of the Special Olympics and a longtime advocate for children's health and disability issues.
In 2005, Eunice appeared on The Oprah Show with her daughter, Maria Shriver. On that show, Eunice gave viewers her sage advice on mothering. "I think you have to be there when they're there," Eunice said. "I think if you're out to dinner and lunch all the time and you don't have a ceremony at night—at least a dinner together—you lose that contact very quickly. ... I think that's very important."
Eunice said the best advice her parents ever gave her was to have the courage to think outside herself, and it's an attitude she instilled in all her children. "There's always somebody out there much worse off—[so] get going," Eunice said.
Eunice and Maria Shriver talk about mothers and daughters
Eunice died on August 11, 2009, at age 88.
"Eunice Shriver lived as a champion, and I admired her so much," Oprah said in a statement. "She was the first (and besides Barack Obama, the only) person who ever inspired me to say, 'If you run for president, I'll campaign for you.' This was in the 1980s. I believed then and still do that she would have made a great president. She embodied the idea of leader as servant."
Eunice's husband, Sargent Shriver, was a driving force behind the Peace Corps, founded the Job Corps and Head Start, and served as the United States Ambassador to France. He died on January 18, 2011.