Thank you for the joy you gave the world with your singing and dancing Shirley Temple Black. I remember performing in a tutu in my front garden as a four year old; I’d watched one of your movies and I wanted to be you.
Shirley was rare, a child star who turned into a high achieving adult. Shirley Temple Black started raising funds for the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society; a disease that afflicted her brother. By the early 1960s, she was co-founder of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies. In the years that followed, she became engaged in politics and served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.
She also became one of the first prominent women to speak publicly about her fight against breast cancer. After she had a mastectomy in 1972, she held a press conference in her hospital room and urged women discovering breast lumps to seek medical attention and not “sit home and be afraid.” Due to her openness around her experience, the New York Times stated that, “she is widely credited with helping to make it acceptable to talk about breast cancer.”
Today the ladies of the Shirley Clubs around the world will remember her with a smile.
“As long as we have Shirley Temple, we’ll be all right.”