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Robert Sargent Shriver

Shriver, Robert Sargent, 1915–2011, U.S. public official, b. Westminster, Md., husband of Eunice Shriver. A lawyer, he served in World War II and was (1945–46) an assistant editor of Newsweek magazine before joining the business enterprises of his future father-in-law, Joseph P. Kennedy. He participated in John F. Kennedy's successful presidential campaign, and in 1961 he was appointed the first director of the U.S. Peace Corps. President Lyndon B. Johnson also named him (1964) director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), an antipoverty agency that developed Head Start, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), and other programs, and he held both posts until 1966, when he resigned from the Peace Corps to devote himself to OEO. In 1968 he was appointed ambassador to France; he held that post until 1970. He became George McGovern's vice presidential running mate in 1972, after Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the Democratic ticket. McGovern and Shriver lost to Nixon and Agnew. He made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976.

See his Point of the Lance (1964); biographies by R. A. Liston (1964) and S. Stossel (2004).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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