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A Letter from Quincy Jones

Testimonial for Ms. Eunice Shriver

In 2003, during the Dublin Special Olympics, Bono and I walked in the Opening Ceremony parade together in Croke Park and Bono mentioned to me something that he's told me a few times over the years--that celebrity is useless, unless you use it as a currency to advocate for positive change. Eunice was born into one of the most famous families in American history, but rather than let that fact solidify her place in history in-and-of-itself, she went out and created her own entirely unique legacy--the Special Olympics. Through that vehicle, she's impacted and helped countless individuals over the globe.

I've known the Kennedys since before electricity. Eunice is no exception - we've had dozens of chance meetings over the years. But it wasn't until we received a doctorate from the University of Miami in 1999, that we really got the chance to spend some one-on-one time. What I found was exactly what I expected--one of the warmest, most intelligent, kindest women I've ever met in my life. Gloria Estefan was also receiving a doctorate, and the three of us had a riot.

I will similarly never forget the gracious reception she and her sons, Timothy and Bobby, hosted for me in Washington D.C. with my close friends Colin Powell and John Conyers.

In 2007, I was asked to write a theme song for the Shanghai Special Olympics. I co-wrote a song with Siedah Garrett called "I Know I Can." I hope that song, in the smallest way, helps contribute to the Special Olympics--and that it illustrates a smidgen of the respect and admiration I have for Eunice.

Eunice, congratulations on the 40th anniversary of your baby and on your 88th birthday. You are one of the most courageous women I've ever met and you deserve all of the accolades in the world.

I love you from deep, deep down Eunice.