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Diane Rehm

"John had a wonderful practice in law,” said Diane Rehm at a dinner hosted by the National Parkinson Foundation at Cafe Milano in Washington, DC. “He worked for the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He became the first legal counsel to the office of the Special Trade Representative under Governor Christian Herter and I can remember Governor Herter saying to John, ‘Remember, family is first no matter what. Family is first.'”

And so it was for John and Diane Rehm who were married since 1959. Together they wrote a book: Toward Commitment: A Dialogue About Marriage. John Rehm died from Parkinson’s disease on June 23, 2014.

Diane Rehm has been in the radio business since 1973. She began her radio career as a volunteer intern at WAMU, then taking over the morning show in 1979, later renamed The Diane Rehm Show in 1984. Since then, she has been an institution in the business. It was only fitting that the foundation chose to honor Diane.

“Shortly after he retired, he would wait for me to come home from the office so that we could walk together. I happened to be a medical reporter for two years. As John walked with me, all of a sudden, this man who was six feet tall with these gorgeous shoulders and tiny waist – you could hear him shuffle. I knew something was wrong right then and there. Then he began having minor automobile accidents and by the third one the insurance company said they would’t carry him anymore. With testing, it turned out to be very negative.” John Rehm had Parkinson’s Disease. “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects your movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand.. Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications may markedly improve your symptoms,” according to the Mayo clinic.