R. Sargent Shriver: 1915 – 2011
By Erica Burman on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
The Peace Corps community is deeply saddened to learn that Robert Sargent “Sarge” Shriver, Jr., beloved founder of the Peace Corps, passed away today, January 18, 2011. He was 95 years old.
“The Peace Corps has not only lost its founder, but our country has lost one of its most inspiring leaders of the twentieth century,” said Kevin Quigley, President of the National Peace Corps Association. “Long before the term was invented, Sargent Shriver was a social entrepreneur, creating innovative institutions and programs that made a real difference in the lives of tens of millions at home and abroad. Although it may be small consolation to the Shriver family in their hour of loss, Sargent Shriver’s timeless legacy will live on in all those he inspired to work assiduously towards a more peaceful and prosperous world.”
- On Friday, January 21, members of the National Peace Corps Association staff attended the wake for Sargent Shriver and personally extended our sympathies to the Shriver family on behalf of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer community. We told them how beloved he is, and how his message continues to inspire people around the world. Speaking at the wake were RPCVs Maureen Orth and former Sen. Christopher Dodd, as well as early Peace Corps staff member and Africare founder C. Payne Lucas. Bill Moyers, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Colman McCarthy, and George McGovern also spoke. Complete information about the wake, including video and photos, can be found on the SargentShriver.org website.
- NPCA was also represented at the Sargent Shriver funeral mass on Saturday, January 22. Videos of eulogies by Shriver family members, Vice President Joseph Biden and President Bill Clinton, as well as photos, mass program and more can be found on the SargentShriver.org website. A video of Bono’s performance can be viewed here.
- Statement by the Shriver Family – January 18, 2011
- SargentShriver.org, the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute. Official site dedicated to enhancing public awareness and knowledge of Sargent Shriver as a public servant and master peacebuilder
- Photos of Sarge at National Peace Corps Association celebrations
- Peace Corps Shriver page
- “Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver,” Biography by Scott Stossel, published by Smithsonian Books
- American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver. Film documentary
- Shriver Peace Worker Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Sargent Shriver Collection at the John F. Kennedy Library – Press Release Link to Archives
Selected reflections on Sargent Shriver
Jonathan Zimmerman: Sargent Shriver’s lasting legacy – Los Angeles Times
Bono: What I learned from Sargent Shriver - New York Times
Pia Lopez: Shriver Motivated Generations to Serve – Sacramento Bee
Colman McCarthy: Sargent Shriver: A Life of Grace – Washington Post
Maureen Orth: Sargent Shriver’s Lasting Impact: An Appreciation – Vanity Fair
Peter Hessler: Sargent Shriver, the Peace Corps and Martin Luther King, Jr. – New Yorker
As an international lawyer and administrator, ambassador and an advocate for the poor and powerless, Sargent Shriver compiled an unparalleled record of public service at every tier, from the local level to the world community.
In June, Shriver stepped down as Chairman of Special Olympics and was appointed Chairman Emeritus in recognition of his long service and dedication to the Movement, which he continues to serve as an ambassador of optimism and good will
Feted by the National Peace Corps Association in its “Salute to Peace Corps Giants” held in conjunction with NPCA’s national conference
Received the “Distinguished American Award” from the John F. Kennedy Library and Foundation for his inspiring work with the Peace Corps; Shriver Head Start Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, dedicated
Shriver Job Corps Center dedicated in Devens, Massachusetts
Shriver Hall dedicated in new Peace Corps Building in Washington, D.C., USA
Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, from President Clinton on August 8; dedicated The Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver Center at the University of Maryland Baltimore County to engage the strengths and resources of higher education in finding creative solutions to the most troublesome social problems of our time
Received the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom From Want Award
Appointed Chairman of the Board of Special Olympics
Retired as Partner of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; named of Counsel to FFHS&J
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
Appointed to the Rockefeller University Council, an organization devoted exclusively to research and graduate education in the biomedical and related sciences
Inaugurated the Kennedy Institute of Ethics “Trialogue” to foster discussions between leaders of Christian, Jewish and Muslim Religions
Embarked on a nationwide Lecture tour “Co-Existence and Common Existence” of the USSR at the invitation of the Soviet government
Nominated by the Democratic Party as a candidate for Vice President with Senator George McGovern in the presidential effort against incumbents Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew
Named a Partner in the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson, specializing in international law and foreign affairs
Served as Chairman of Congressional Leadership for the Future, traveling to 29 U.S. states to gain support for 89 Democratic candidates for the House and Senate
Served as U.S. Ambassador to France
Served as Special Assistant to President Johnson
Created VISTA, Head Start, Community Action, Foster Grandparents, Job Corps, Legal Services, Indian and Migrant Opportunities and Neighborhood Health Services
Served as the first Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity under U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson
Served as the organizer and first Director of the Peace Corps, where he developed volunteer activities in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America
Worked as a political and organization coordinator in the Wisconsin and West Virginia primaries for Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy
Served as president of the Chicago Board of Education
Conducted, with his wife Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the National Conference on Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delinquency in Washington
Shriver held positions in many associations, including: Director, Arms Control Association; Director, The American Council on Germany; and Co-Chairman, Friends of VISTA. His association memberships include: National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice, National Interreligious Task Force on Soviet Jewry, Navy League, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Knights of Columbus.
Shriver also has received more than 24 honorary degrees from universities around the world, including Yale University, Brandeis University, Boston College, Yeshiva University, the University of Liberia and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.
Shriver was married to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, daughter of Joseph P. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, Founder and Honorary Chairman of Special Olympics and the Executive Vice President of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation. Sargent Shriver is survived by children: Robert Sargent Shriver III, Maria Owings Shriver Schwarzenegger, Timothy Perry Shriver, Mark Kennedy Shriver, and Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver.
(Thanks to the Special Olympics Web site)