Sargent Shriver, Founder of Peace Corps, Other War on Poverty Programs, Is Dead at 95

Sargent Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family renowned for his public service and his work as founding director of the Peace Corps, among many other accomplishments in government and in life, has died. He was 95 years old.

A 1941 graduate of Yale Law School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy even though he was opposed to American intervention in World War II and earned a Purple Heart during Guadalcanal. Afterwards, he married Eunice Kennedy, to whom he was married for 56 years until her death, and helped her brother, John F. Kennedy, win a close election as U.S. president in 1960, reports Bloomberg in a lengthy obituary.

Shriver was known for his devotion to others and his work establishing social programs ranging from Head Start to Legal Services for the Poor, as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. A vice-presidential candidate himself in 1972 with George McGovern in a losing battle for the nation’s top job, Shriver subsequently became the father-in-law of former Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In a written statement, President Barack Obama said Shriver was “one of the brightest lights of the greatest generation.”

He is survived by five children and 19 grandchildren.

Obituaries in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times obituary provide additional details.

Updated at 7:09 p.m. to link to Los Angeles Times obit.

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