Suzanne and Bob Wright, Autism Speaks Co-founders
In 2005, Suzanne and Bob Wright co-founded Autism Speaks, inspired by their grandson who was diagnosed with autism. Guided by the Wrights’ leadership and vision, Autism Speaks has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. The Wrights helped raise funding for groundbreaking science, effective advocacy and extensive family services, enhancing lives now and into the future. They spearheaded Autism Speaks’ signature initiatives: new federal laws ensuring financial security for people with disabilities and insurance reform for autism care; a public service campaign credited with educating countless families about the early signs of autism; World Autism Awareness Day, sanctioned by the United Nations; and the Light It Up Blue awareness campaign, now involving more than 150 countries. Mrs. Wright also helped launch the iconic blue puzzle-piece logo now recognized around the world. The co-founders’ efforts earned international recognition, including a spot in the 2008 Time 100 “Heroes and Pioneers” category for their commitment to global autism advocacy. Prior to Suzanne’s death in 2016, the Wrights had been married for 48 years and enjoyed spending time with their three children and six grandchildren.