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|Remembering Sargent Shriver|
By Gene Williams
January 20, 2011 -- Robert Sargent Shriver, Democratic Party leader, advocate for America’s poor and disadvantaged and father of Santa Monica Council member Bobby Shriver, died Tuesday in Maryland. He was 95.
The public servant’s death marks the end of his 8-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Shriver first came to national attention in the early 1960s as the first director of the Peace Corps and a key advisor to his brother-in-law, President John Kennedy.
After Kennedy’s assassination, he continued directing the Peace Corps during the Johnson administration and was the driving force behind the president’s War on Poverty.
From 1968 to 1970, Shriver served as ambassador to France before returning to Democratic politics.
As a vice-presidential candidate in 1972, Shriver became a stand-in running mate for Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern after Thomas Eagleton left the ticket.
But despite his celebrity as a mover and shaker among the nation’s most powerful elite, Shriver will mostly be remembered as an untiring advocate for the less fortunate.
During his decades of public service, Shriver helped start numerous social
programs and charitable organizations, including Vista, Head Start, Job
Corps, Community Action, the National Clearinghouse for Legal Services
(now the Shriver Center), Indian and Migrant Opportunities and Neighborhood
Health Services, Upward Bound, Foster Grandparents and Special Olympics.
In 2004, Shriver’s daughter, then California first lady Maria Shriver began speaking publicly about her father’s disease and produced an award-winning film based on her book, “What’s Happening to Grandpa.”
And in 2007 his son-in-law, then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, cited
Shriver’s condition while backing a successful state-wide initiative
for stem cell research.
“He was a man of giant love, energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. He lived to make the world a more joyful, faithful, and compassionate place. He centered everything on his faith and his family. He worked on stages both large and small but in the end, he will be best known for his love of others.”
“No one ever came into his presence without feeling his passion and his enthusiasm for them. He loved God, he loved Eunice, he loved us, he loved anyone who was a servant of peace, justice or joy. He loved life,” the family said.
President Obama eulogized Shriver as "one of the brightest lights
of the greatest generation."
The writers and editors at the Lookout extend their sympathy to Councilmember Shriver and the entire Shriver family.
"He worked on stages both large and small but in the end, he will be best known for his love of others.”
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