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Calls to Action

One year later: Remembering Suzanne Wright

July 29, 2017

On July 29, 2016, Autism Speaks lost its co-founder Suzanne Wright. After a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer, she died at age 69. But the organization she and her husband, Bob Wright, started in 2005 after their grandson, Christian, was diagnosed with autism has grown into a global movement to support and empower children, adults and families worldwide affected by the disorder.


Today we remember Suzanne’s immeasurable impact and tireless advocacy: at the United Nations, on Capitol Hill, at Autism Speaks Walks nationwide, and in personal letters of support and encouragement.

Suzanne helped create the blue puzzle-piece logo that is now recognized around the world. Working with the Ad Council and BBDO Worldwide, Suzanne and Bob Wright launched a ten-year public service announcement campaign credited with educating countless families about the early signs of autism. Suzanne also led Autism Speaks’ signature global awareness initiatives. Her determination was crucial to persuading the United Nations to establish April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day, and launching the international Light It Up Blue awareness campaign.

Suzanne sparked a global conversation with one question: How can we help our loved ones with autism live their best possible lives? Persuading the world to see the potential in each child and adult on the diverse autism spectrum is her greatest legacy.