President John F Kennedy's sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a champion for the rights of the mentally disabled and founder of the Special Olympics, has died. She was 88. Ms Shriver suffered a series of strokes in recent years and died at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis this morning, her family said in a statement. The hospital is near the Kennedy family compound, where her sole surviving brother, Sen Edward Kennedy, has been battling brain cancer.
Ms Shriver was credited with transforming America's view of the mentally disabled from institutionalised patients to friends, neighbours and athletes. Her efforts were inspired by the struggles of her mentally disabled sister, Rosemary. She also was the sister of Sen Robert F Kennedy, the wife of 1972 vice presidential candidate and the former Peace Corps director R Sargent Shriver, and the mother-in-law of the California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.