Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. died last week. He was an activist and a diplomat and perhaps most thought of as the man who started the Peace Corps and served as the head from 1960-1966. Did you know he also started the Jobs Corps and Head Start? He served as ambassador in France in the late 1960s, he was married to Eunice Kennedy and was as a result an active part of the Kennedy clan. He was the president of the board of directors of the Special Olympics an organization founded by his wife Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Sarg was an active attorney specializing in international law and foreign affairs. He was later in life disabled by cognitive impairment, his daughter Maria Shriver wrote a book about Alzheimer’s called What’s Happening to Grandpa? for children.
Since 1961, over 200,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps, serving in 139 countries. There is no way to discount the influence this had on how many lives in America and oversees. If you want a good read, here is a list of books by former Peace Corps volunteers, I’d recommend you start with Living Poor by Moritz Thomsen about Equador, and then read Under the Neem Tree by Susan Lowerre about her experiences in Senegal.
Thank you Sarg for everything you did, to make our country better, and for touching so many lives internationally.