Best Known For
Candy Lightner founded one of the country's largest activist organizations, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, after her daughter died in a drunk driving accident.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born in 1946, activist Candy Lightner spent her early life in California. She went to American River College in Sacramento and later married Steve Lightner. The couple had three children, including twin daughters Cari and Serena. In 1980,
"Over time, my efforts helped incite others to action. You kick a few pebbles, you turn a few stones, and eventually you have an avalanche."
her daughter Cari was killed by a drunk driver. Lightner quickly formed Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (later Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to raise awareness on this problem and to fight for tough laws against offenders. She was appointed to a national commission on this issue by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The following year, Lightner left MADD. She has continued to work on social and legal issues as an activist since then. She also serves as a consultant to organizations and companies.
Born Candace Doddridge on May 30, 1946, activist Candy Lightner grew up in California. Her father served in the U.S. Air Force, and her mother worked for this military branch as a civilian. After high school, Lightner attended American River College in Sacramento. She worked as a dental assistant for a time and married U.S. Air Force officer Steve Lightner. The couple had three children together—twins Cari and Serena and son Taylor—before divorcing.
After the divorce, Lightner settled with her kids in Fair Oaks, California. She started working as a real estate agent there. On May 3, 1980, Lightner suffered a tremendous loss. Her 13-year-old daughter Cari was hit by a car while walking to a church carnival with a friend. She was struck with such force that she was knocked out of shoes and thrown 125 feet. Cari died not long after the accident.
The driver that hit Cari never stopped, and it was later learned that he had been drunk at the time of the accident. This wasn't his first drunk driving accident. He had been arrested a short time earlier for another incident related to drunk driving. After police officers told her that the driver likely would receive little punishment for killing Cari, Lightner became enraged. She decided to channel her anger and grief into fighting drunk driving. "Death caused by drunk drivers is the only socially acceptable form of homicide," she later told People magazine.
Four days after Cari's death, Lightner started up a grassroots organization to advocate for stiffer penalties for drunk driving. She quit her job and used her savings to fund Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (later known as Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Before starting MADD, Lightner had been uninvolved in social reform or politics. "I wasn't even registered to vote," she explained to People magazine. Later that year, Lightner joined forces with Cindi Lamb, whose daughter had been left paralyzed by a drunk driving accident. The pair went to Washington, D.C., that October to raise awareness about the issue of drunk driving.
To advance her cause, Lightner proved to be a tireless fighter. She visited California governor Jerry Brown's office on a daily basis until the governor launched a state commission on drunk driving.
profile name: Candy Lightner profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Famous Geminis 551 people in this group
Famous Activists 522 people in this group
Famous People Born in 1946 104 people in this group