Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Legacy That Won't Soon Be Forgotten

You've heard of the Peace Corps. Or Head Start. Or VISTA. Or The Special Olympics.

If you haven't, throw a rock at your head and wake up.  All of the mentioned organizations have one common denominator: the influence of R. Sargent Shriver, an extraordinary advocate for peace, justice and social welfare who fought diligently to fight the many wrongs in society.

He died today at age 95 in a hospital near Washington D.C.

Credited as the founder of the Peace Corps, Shriver's work and lifelong public service helped establish numerous charitable organizations, including the Special Olympics, which his wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded in the backyard of their Maryland home in the 1960s.

A former ambassador to France and one-time vice-presidential nominee, Shriver's marriage to one of the most well-known Kennedy women of JFK's generation only helped heighten his reach in the political world.  Many say he would have risen to such positions even if he hadn't married a member of American's most-storied political family.

Read USA Today's Article On Sarge

He was, by all accounts, a force to reckoned with: someone who worked hard to achieve his goals, but who, as his son-in-law Arnold Schwarzenegger recently said via Twitter, encouraged people to "Tear down the mirror in front of you - the one that makes you look at yourself. Tear down the mirror and you will see the millions of people that need your help."

So, while his five children and 19 grandchildren mourn his passing this evening, let's hope that as his story is told in the media over the coming days, he's viewed as an inspiration to young people of our time and that his legacy lingers for many years to come.


  1. The thing I liked about Shriver was he pretty much gave up any political ambitions he had in 1972 to be the VP on the Democratic ticket even though they didn't have a prayer to win. But it was the right thing to do for the party so he did it.

  2. Right! He was the second choice to fill the VP role that year and still carried out his responsibilities respectably. Four years later, when he attempted to run for President, he didn't let the rejection get him down. Instead, he returned to his life's work of helping others and doing all these amazing things many simply don't have the time to accomplish these days.