Shriver Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. was born November 9, 1915 in Westminster, Maryland. Shriver attended Yale University in 1934. During college, Shriver was the senior editor of the Yale Daily News. Shriver enrolled in Yale Law School in 1938, receiving his L.L.B. in 1941. Shriver went on to serve five years in active duty in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In 1953, Shriver married Eunice Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy. Shriver’s commitment to public service made him one of the most effective leaders of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in the 1960s. He inspired, directed, or founded numerous social programs and organizations, including Head Start, VISTA, Job Corps, Community Action, Upward Bound, Foster Grandparents, Special Olympics, the National Center on Poverty Law, Legal Services, and the Peace Corps, serving as the program’s first director under President Kennedy. Shriver also ran the War on Poverty during Johnson’s tenure as president. Shriver also served as U.S. ambassador to France from 1968 to 1970.

John Bridgeland

In 1972, Shriver was nominated by the Democratic Party as a candidate for Vice President with presidential candidate Senator George McGovern in the campaign against President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew. In 197 8, Shriver began the Kennedy Institute of Ethics “Trialogue” between leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions, the first such forum for discussion since medieval Spain.

Shriver went on to become President of Special Olympics in 1984. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of Special Olympics in 1990. Under Shriver’s leadership, the Special Olympics greatly expanded its international sports programs for young people around the world.

On August 8, 1994, Sargent Shriver received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton, the United State’s highest civilian honor, as recognition for his lifetime of public service.Shriver currently lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife Eunice. They have five children: Robert Sargent Shriver III, Maria Shriver, Timothy Shriver, Mark Shriver, and Anthony Shriver.