Rosemary Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver's Inspiration
Rosemary Kennedy was Eunice Kennedy Shriver's inspiration to form the Special Olympics. Rosemary Kennedy, born Rose Marie Kennedy and older sister to John F. Kennedy (JFK), was born with what was considered a mild mental disability (she was referred to as "retarded" even in her obituary, cited below). Rosemary Kennedy was schooled at a convent, and went on to have the busy social life of a child of the Kennedy family.
Rosemary Kennedy began having mood swings,leading her parents, Joseph Kennedy and Rose Kennedy, to approve a lobotomy. However, the lobotomy only made things worse. After the lobotomy, Rosemary Kennedy was unable to communicate and was incapacitated for the rest of her life. Considered the first of the Kennedy tragedies, this event was actually of the family's own causing.
Rosemary Kennedy was moved to the St. COletta School for Exceptional Children in Wisconsin, and the public version of the story was that this was the result of Rosemary Kennedy's pre-existing medical condition, as opposed as the result of a botched lobotomy. Rosemary Kennedy lived to age 86, passing away on January 7, 2005.
Rosemary Kennedy inspired her sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, to found the Special Olympics in 1962.
A 1987 Post excerpt of a book by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin said that to Miss Kennedy's father, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., a lobotomy -- a brain operation then regarded as a miracle treatment -- "was an obvious solution" to the frustrations she experienced in trying to find a place for herself in a hard-driving family.
However, according to Goodwin's account, "something went terribly wrong," and she emerged "far worse" than ever.