Sargent Shriver: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Sargent Shriver

In office
April 22, 1968 – March 25, 1970
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Preceded by Charles E. Bohlen
Succeeded by Arthur K. Watson

In office
March 22, 1961 – February 28, 1966[1]
President John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by (None)
Succeeded by Jack Vaughn

In office
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by (None)
Succeeded by Bertrand Harding

Born November 9, 1915 (1915-11-09) (age 94)
Westminster, Maryland
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Eunice Kennedy Shriver (1953–2009, her death)
Children Robert Sargent Shriver III
Maria Owings Shriver
Timothy Perry Shriver
Mark Kennedy Shriver
Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver
Alma mater Yale University
Yale Law School
Profession Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1941 – 1945
Rank Lieutenant
Battles/wars World War II
Awards World War II Victory Medal, Purple Heart, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal[2]

Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. (born November 9, 1915) is an American Democratic politician and activist. Known as "Sargent", Shriver is best known as part of the Kennedy family, the driving force behind the creation of the Peace Corps, and the Democratic Party's replacement candidate for U.S. vice president — having replaced nominee Thomas Eagleton, who resigned from the ticket — during the 1972 U.S. presidential election. Upon the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Shriver is one of only four living spouses (along with Joan Kennedy, Vicki Kennedy, and Ethel Kennedy) of the children of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Kennedy.


Early life and career

Shriver was born in Westminster, Maryland to Robert Sargent Shriver, Sr. and his wife Hilda Shriver. Of German ancestry, the Shriver family is descended from David Shriver, who signed the Maryland Constitution and Bill of Rights at Maryland's Constitutional Convention of 1776.[3] He spent his high school years at the Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut, which he attended on a full scholarship. After graduating, Shriver spent the summer in Germany as part of the Experiment in International Living, returning in the fall of 1934 to begin college at Yale University. He received his bachelor's degree in 1938 from Yale University, where he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Phi chapter) and Scroll and Key Society. He was Chairman of the Yale Daily News. Shriver went on to attend Yale Law School, earning an LL.B. degree in 1941.

An early opponent of American involvement in World War II, Shriver was a founding member of America First, an organization that tried to keep America out of the war. Still, Shriver volunteered for the United States Navy, saying he had a duty to serve his country even if he disagreed with its policies. He spent five years in active duty, rising to the rank of lieutenant. Shriver ultimately came to believe in the justness of American involvement in the war and retracted his early opposition.[citation needed]

Shriver's involvement with the Kennedy family began when family patriarch Joseph Kennedy, Sr. hired him to manage the Merchandise Mart, part of Kennedy's business empire, in Chicago, Illinois.

At the age of nearly 38 and after a seven-year courtship, Shriver married Eunice Kennedy, a sister of then-Senator John F. Kennedy, on May 23, 1953 at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.[4] They had five children: Robert Sargent Shriver III (born April 28, 1954), Maria Owings Shriver (born November 6, 1955), Timothy Perry Shriver (born August 29, 1959), Mark Kennedy Shriver (born February 17, 1964), and Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver (born July 20, 1965).

Shriver is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia, Illinois, New York, and at the U.S. Supreme Court.[5]

A devout Catholic, Shriver attends daily Mass and always carries a rosary of well-worn wooden beads.[6]

Political career

John F. Kennedy

When John F. Kennedy ran for president, Shriver worked as a political and organization coordinator in the Wisconsin and West Virginia primaries. During Kennedy's presidential term, Shriver served as the first director of the Peace Corps.

Lyndon B. Johnson

After Kennedy's assassination, Shriver continued to serve as Director of the Peace Corps and served as Special Assistant to President Johnson. Under Johnson, he created the Office of Economic Opportunity with William B. Mullins and served as the first Director.[7]

Political activism

Shriver founded numerous social programs and organizations, including Head Start, VISTA, Job Corps, Community Action, Upward Bound, Foster Grandparents, Special Olympics, Legal Services, the National Clearinghouse for Legal Services (now the Shriver Center), Indian and Migrant Opportunities and Neighborhood Health Services, and directed the Peace Corps. Shriver also ran the War on Poverty during Johnson's tenure as president. He was such an effective leader, that Job Corps and Adams and Associates dedicated a Center to his name in 1999.[citation needed] The Job Corps Center (Shriver Job Corps) is located in Devens, Massachusetts.

Ambassador to France

Shriver served as U.S. ambassador to France from 1968 to 1970, becoming a quasi-celebrity among the French for bringing what Time magazine called "a rare and welcome panache" to the normally sedate world of international diplomacy.

Vice Presidential candidate

Shriver and JFK

Shriver returned to elective politics in 1972, when George McGovern chose him as his Vice Presidential running mate after McGovern's first pick, Thomas Eagleton, resigned from the Democratic ticket following revelations of past mental health treatments. The McGovern-Shriver ticket lost to Republican incumbents Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. He remains to date the most recent pro-life candidate to have been in a Democratic Party presidential ticket.

Shriver sought the Democratic nomination for President in 1976. His candidacy was short and he returned to private life.[8]

Life after politics

He was associated with the Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson law firm in the Washington, D.C., where he specialized in international law and foreign affairs, beginning in 1971.[5] He retired as partner in 1986 and was then named of counsel to the firm.[9]

In 1981, Shriver was appointed to the Rockefeller University Council, an organization devoted exclusively to research and graduate education in the biomedical and related sciences.

In 1984, he was elected President of Special Olympics by the Board of Directors; as President, he directed the operation and international development of sports programs around the world. Six years later, in 1990, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Special Olympics.

He was an investor in the Baltimore Orioles along with his eldest son Bobby Shriver, Eli Jacobs and Larry Lucchino from 1989[10] to 1993.

Shriver was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2003. In 2004 his daughter, Maria, published a children's book, What's Happening to Grandpa?, to help explain Alzheimer's to children. The book gives suggestions on how to help and to show love to an elderly person with the disease.[11] In July 2007, Shriver's son-in-law, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, speaking in favor of stem-cell research, said that Shriver's Alzheimer's disease had advanced to the point that "Today, he does not even recognize his wife."[12]

On August 11, 2009, Shriver's wife of 56 years, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, died at the age of 88. He attended his wife's wake and funeral mass in Centerville and Hyannis, Massachusetts.

Two weeks later, on August 29, 2009, he attended the funeral of his brother-in-law, Edward Kennedy in Boston, Massachusetts.


In 1993, Shriver received the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom From Want Award. On August 8, 1994, Shriver received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, from President Bill Clinton.[9]

The National Clearinghouse for Legal Services (renamed the National Center on Poverty Law in 1995) was re-named the Shriver Center in 2002 and each year awards a Sargent Shriver Award for Equal Justice. [1]

Sargent Shriver Elementary School, located in Silver Spring, Maryland, is named after Shriver.[13][14][15]

In January 2008, a documentary film about Shriver aired on PBS, titled American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver. [2]

Electoral history

United States presidential election, 1972

1976 Democratic presidential primaries[16]

See also


  1. ^ Past Directors.
  2. ^ "A Muscular Idealism - New York Times". The New York Times. 2004-04-23. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  3. ^ "The New Nominee No Longer Half a Kennedy - TIME". Time Magazine. 1972-08-14.,9171,906202-1,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-27. 
  4. ^ R(obert) Sargent Shriver: Papers (#214) - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
  5. ^ a b "Sargent Shriver". Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  6. ^ ""Sargent Shriver and the politics of life". National Catholic Reporter. 2002-08-30. 
  7. ^ W. B. Mullins, 52, A Founding Official Of the Peace Corps - New York Times
  8. ^ "JFK Presidential Library Opens Sargent Shriver Collection". John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. 2005-02-01. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  9. ^ a b "Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Sargent R. Shriver". 1994-08-08. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  10. ^ Hyman, Mark S. "Orioles are sold: $70 million; Buyers say team will stay," The Baltimore Sun, December 7, 1988
  11. ^ Shriver, Maria (April 28, 2004). What's Happening to Grandpa?. Little, Brown Young Readers. ISBN 978-0316001014. 
  12. ^ Benzie, Robert; Ferguson, Rob (May 31, 2007). "Terminator gunning to save lives; California governor, McGuinty sign stem-cell research deal in bid to `cure a lot' of illnesses". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  13. ^ Hands-on lessons for Shriver students
  14. ^ New school year, new elementary school
  15. ^ August 29: Sargent Shriver's Family Visits the New Shriver ES
  16. ^ Our Campaigns - US President - D Primaries Race - Feb 01, 1976

Portrayals in film

The film Too Young the Hero (1988), about the life of Calvin Graham, features a scene during World War II in which Graham (played by Rick Schroder) meets Shriver (played by Carl Meuller).

The film W. (2008), about the life of George W. Bush, features Matt Sigloch as Shriver.

Further reading

  • Clinton, Bill (2004). My Life. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0091795273. 
  • Stossel, Scott (2004). Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books. 

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Director of the Peace Corps
Succeeded by
Jack Vaughn
Preceded by
Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity
Succeeded by
Bertrand Harding
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles E. Bohlen
U.S. Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
Arthur K. Watson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Edmund Muskie (previous race: 1968),
Thomas Eagleton (previous candidate: 1972)(1)
Democratic Party Vice Presidential candidate
1972 (lost)
Succeeded by
Walter Mondale
Notes and references
1. Eagleton was the original Vice Presidential nominee in 1972 but withdrew from the race and was replaced by Shriver. Muskie was the Vice Presidential nominee in 1968.

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