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Sargent Shriver

Sargent ShriverAKA Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr.

Born: 9-Nov-1915
Birthplace: Westminster, MD
Died: 18-Jan-2011
Location of death: Bethesda, MD [1]
Cause of death: Alzheimer's
Remains: Buried, St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Centerville, MA

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic [2]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Activist, Government

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: First Director of the Peace Corps

Military service: US Navy (1941-45)

Devoutly Catholic, Sargent Shriver was inspired by the work of Dorothy Day, and said that beginning in high school and throughout his life he asked himself every evening, "What have I done to improve the lot of humanity?"

While attending Yale he became a founding member of the America First Committee, a 1930s pacifist group, but when America was drawn into the Second World War he promptly enlisted in the Navy. After the war he earned his law degree, worked as a lawyer and marketing executive, and headed the National Conference on Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delinquency in the late 1940s. Later, as president of the Chicago Board of Eduction, he laid out the city school district's first desegregation plans in the late 1950s.

He was a key behind-the-scenes player in the 1960 Presidential campaign of his brother-in-law, John F. Kennedy. Beginning in 1961, at Kennedy's request, he served as the founding Director of the Peace Corps, leading the new organization's endeavor to send Americans as volunteer helpers in impoverished nations, and fending off Congressional efforts to encumber the Peace Corps with a Cold War anti-Soviet mandate. After Kennedy's assassination Shriver became an informal and later formal advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, spearheading the new administration's high-level talent hunt for cabinet posts and leadership appointments, and acting as "commanding general" in Johnson's sweeping "war on poverty" agenda including the creation of Head Start, Job Corps, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). He also presided over the Paris Peace Talks, which sought to end America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

At the close of the Johnson administration and for the first year of Richard M. Nixon's presidency, he served as US Ambassador to France. He was Senator George McGovern's Vice Presidential running mate on the 1972 Democratic ticket, filling in after Senator Thomas Eagleton, McGovern's first choice, was forced to withdraw. Later in that decade, Shriver worked with the Kennedy Institute of Ethics to establishe what were called the "Trialogue", a series of meetings between Middle Eastern Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders. His wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded the Special Olympics in 1968, and Shriver was President of that organization in the 1980s.

The National Center on Poverty Law was re-named in his honor in 1995, and is now the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. He is also the namesake of an annual award for outstanding contributions to justice, the Sargent Shriver Award for Equal Justice. He died in 2011, at the age of 95.


[1] Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, MD.

[2] Our Lady of Mercy Church, Potomac, MD.

Father: Robert Sargent Shriver (mills and tannery owner, b. 12-Jan-1878, d. 12-Jun-1942)
Mother: Hilda Shriver (cousin, b. 2-Nov-1882, m. 1-Jun-1910, d. 18-Aug-1977)
Wife:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver (b. 10-Jul-1921, m. 23-May-1953, d. 11-Aug-2009)
Son: Bobby Shriver (Mayor of Santa Monica, b. 28-Apr-1954)
Daughter: Maria Shriver (journalist, First Lady of California, b. 06-Nov-1955)
Son: Timothy Perry Shriver (CEO of Special Olympics, b. 29-Aug-1959)
Son: Mark Kennedy Shriver (Save the Children exec, b. 17-Feb-1964)
Son: Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver (CEO of Best Buddies International, b. 20-Sep-1965)

    High School: Georgetown Prepatory School, North Bethesda, MD
    University: BA, Yale University (1938)
    Law School: LLB, Yale Law School (1941)

    Special Olympics President (1984-90)
    Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson Partner (1970-86)
    US Ambassador to France (1968-70)
    White House Staff Special Ass't to Pres Lyndon B. Johnson (1965-68)
    Office of Economic Opportunity Director (1964-68)
    Peace Corps Director (1961-66)
    Board of Education Chicago (President, 1955-60)
    Merchandise Mart of Chicago Ass't GM (1948-55)
    Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises Associate (1946-48)
    Newsweek Assistant Editor (1945-46)
    FDR Freedom From Want Award 1993
    Presidential Medal of Freedom 1994
    New York State Bar Association 1941
    Illinois State Bar Association 1959
    US Supreme Court Bar 1969
    District of Columbia Bar 1971
    American Commission on East-West Accord Board of Advisors (1978-2010)
    America First Committee Founding Member, 1939
    American Iranian Council Honorary Board
    Boy Scouts of America National Council
    Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Board of Advisors
    Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
    Economic Club of Chicago
    Scroll and Key
    Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
    America First Committee Founding Member, 1939
    American Council on Germany Board of Directors
    American Iranian Council Advisor
    Arms Control Association Board of Directors
    Gore 2000
    John Kerry for President
    Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation
    Knights of Columbus
    National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice Past President
    Navy League
    Special Olympics Chairman of the Board (1990-94)
    Susan B. Anthony List
    Veterans of Foreign Wars
    Shrapnel Injury Battle of Guadalcanal
    Wedding: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver (1986)
    Roast: Tim Russert (1993)
    Funeral: Ted Kennedy (2009)
    Kennedy Family
    German Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Alzheimer's

    SPORTS FRANCHISE HISTORY
    Baltimore Orioles Minority Owner (1989-93)

Author of books:
Point of the Lance (1964, non-fiction; alternate title The Challenge and the Chance)


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