Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the 86-year-old sister of President John F. Kennedy, who founded the Special Olympics and championed the rights of the mentally retarded, has been hospitalized.
Shriver was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital on Nov. 18 and was in fair condition Saturday, said hospital spokeswoman Emily Parker, who did not release any more information.
Shriver is also the sister of Sen. Edward Kennedy and the mother-in-law of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said in June that she was recovering from a series of strokes.
Schwarzenegger said that the family had been told that Shriver would never talk again, but that she proved the doctors wrong.
"She's had a number of health challenges over the past several months," said Daniel Zingale, the chief of staff for Shriver's daughter and Schwarzenegger's wife, Maria Shriver. "In every case, she's bounced back. She's a remarkably resilient person. In each case, she's drawn strength from the good wishes and prayers of people all over the world. I would hope and expect it would be true in this case again."
Eunice Shriver is credited with transforming America's view of the mentally disabled from institutionalized patients to that of friends, neighbors and athletes. Her efforts were inspired in part by the struggles of her retarded sister, Rosemary. She founded the Special Olympics in 1968.
Shriver last appeared publicly just two days before she was hospitalized, when her children held a tribute at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston to her work on behalf of special-needs children.