For more than half a century, the Kennedy Family has been at the forefront of global efforts to support people with intellectual disabilities – people who for years were shut away, powerless to change society’s negative perception of them.
President John F. Kennedy founded the first President’s Committee on Mental Retardation. He also welcomed a person with intellectual disabilities to the White House, thus becoming the first head of state anywhere in the world to receive a person with intellectual disabilities as an official guest.
His sister, the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was the founder and driving force of Special Olympics. Mrs. Shriver served as a board member of Best Buddies International and for 20 years chaired the Auction Committee of the Best Buddies Ball held at her home in Potomac, Maryland. Her husband, the late Sargent Shriver, first Director of the Peace Corps, was also an active supporter of Best Buddies for many years.
Anthony Kennedy Shriver continues the Kennedy commitment to people with intellectual disabilities through his establishment and leadership of Best Buddies International.