Women Changing the World
For the past 30 years, Maria has also been one of Oprah's dearest friends, but she's probably best known for being part of a political dynasty. Maria is the niece of President John F. Kennedy and senators Robert and Edward "Teddy" Kennedy.
Since she was a little girl, Maria has witnessed American history unfold firsthand. In August 2008, her famous family found themselves in the spotlight once again when her uncle Teddy took the stage at the Democratic National Convention. A few months before the convention, Senator Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Many doubted that he'd have the strength to speak, but Maria expected nothing less from the man known as the lion of the Senate.