I have known Bob and Suzanne Wright for many years, and came to know them even better co-authoring Bob’s recent autobiography, The Wright Stuff. The book is as much a testament to their remarkable partnership and love story as it is to his leadership at NBC, GE and Autism Speaks.
Suzanne was the chief passion officer to the CEO. The fiery spirit and compassion that round out her legacy of accomplishment guided her to the end. Suzanne accepted the risks of being a strong-willing woman “determined to accomplish her passions,” as Bob called it. That included giving Autism Speaks its soul, puzzle piece logo and global presence; giving a voice to the women of NBC; and giving hope to her family and autistic grandson.
She looked into the eyes of her beloved husband, children and grandchildren and with a full heart joyfully proclaimed, I love you! She stood defiant in the face of fierce challenges—from autism to cancer—vowing not to yield without a fight.
Suzanne was publicly known as a force of nature who would not accept “No” at Autism Speaks and NBC. Some of us were fortunate to be warmed even now by her boldly penned, whimsical notes of gratitude, and her thoughtful gestures of celebration big and small.
And then there is the poignant personal legacy Bob best describes in his book. “All my adult life, Suzanne has been the spark and driving spirit behind every success…Through these all-consuming, exhausting crusades, Suzanne has been my North Star. She has been by my side through it all, sharing the load, being my reality check, my sounding board, my friend, my love—and the spark that made all the difference.”
Let us take the best of what she was and did, build on it and carry on. Suzanne wouldn’t want it any other way.