"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver," said Mr. Obama in the statement . "Eunice was many things to many people: a mother who inspired her children to serve others; a wife who supported her husband Sargent in the Peace Corps and in politics; and a sister to her siblings, including brothers John, Robert, and Edward."
The president went on to praise her work as an activist for the disabled.
"But above all, she will be remembered as the founder of the Special Olympics, as a champion for people with intellectual disabilities, and as an extraordinary woman who, as much as anyone, taught our nation – and our world – that no physical or mental barrier can restrain the power of the human spirit," said Mr. Obama.
He added that his prayers are with the entire and Kennedy family. Shriver died at the age of 88.
Also of note, Sen. Ted Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, released a statement on the passing of his sister. He said that "Eunice is now with God in heaven" and will be dearly missed by the remaining Kennedy clan.
Kennedy said he will remember his sister as "a young girl with great humor, sharp wit, and a boundless passion to make a difference."
Praising her life dedication to servicing the disabled, Kennedy said America would not have the American with Disabilities Act without her efforts.
"We will miss her deeply and we will always love her and cherish the beautiful memories of our years together. She was blessed with a long life, but for us that time was still too short," said Kennedy.