A Personal Connection

A roomful of academics erupted in angry boos Tuesday morning after political analyst Michael Barone said journalists trashed Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republicans’ vice presidential nominee, because “she did not abort her Down syndrome baby.” — Politico.com

My older brother, Chris, now 53, was born with Down Syndrome. In 1963, my father published a five-part series in the New Orleans States-Item entitled “My Son Chris is Retarded.” The series was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and drew the attention of Kennedy inlaw Sargent Shriver, who, early in 1964, invited my father to serve on President Johnson’s new Committee on Mental Retardation. (The 1963 Prize went to coverage of the assassination.)

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