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August 02, 2016

Obituary: Suzanne Wright, Co-Founder of Autism Speaks

Suzanne Wright, a co-founder of Autism Speaks, a charity that advocates for the autistic and funds research into the disorder, died Friday at age 69 at her home in Fairfield, Conn., reports The New York Times. The cause was complications of pancreatic cancer.

Ms. Wright started the charity with her husband, Bob Wright, in 2005 after struggling to find information and expert advice on autism when their grandson was diagnosed at age 2. Mr. Wright is a former president and chief executive of NBC.

The couple struggled at first to find support for Autism Speaks, Ms. Wright said in a 2011 interview, but that changed when the organization began reaching out more directly to women, whom she believed would be more receptive to its message that "autism was a global health crisis.” She also created the nonprofit’s now-familiar logo, a blue jigsaw-puzzle piece, and led awareness campaigns across the country. The charity raised $57 million in 2014.