Cronin Lecture: "Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed The World" by Eileen McNamara

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The 1950s were busy in the Kennedy household. Six of the clan were either in the process of getting married, going into politics, or both. The middle child, Eunice, noticed that she was being left behind. She was the oldest daughter representing the family; with one older sister dead and the other in a psychiatric hospital, Eunice saw that her parents had her destined to be the model housewife of the family. She wrote home, “Dear Daddy, I know you are very busy. I also know you are advising everyone else in [the] house on their careers, so why not me?”

Defying the expectations set for her, Eunice Kennedy Shriver worked tirelessly for the causes she believed in, even as the spotlight stayed firmly fixed on her well-groomed brothers. Over the decades, she became an advocate for disability legislation, and an instrumental founder of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Special Olympics.

Author, educator, and former journalist Eileen McNamara will speak on Shriver's grit and determination, outlining her enduring legacy on par with those of her more celebrated siblings.


Refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public!