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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sargent Shriver dies at 95

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- He was often known as a member of the Kennedy family, through his late wife, Eunice. But Sargent Shriver had his own share of historic achievements.

Shriver died Tuesday at a hospital in suburban Washington. He was 95.

He was instrumental in expanding the Special Olympics with his wife, was the first director of the Peace Corps and led President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty." From that effort came such programs as Head Start and Legal Services.

He was also Democrat George McGovern's vice presidential running mate in 1972.

Shriver advised his brother-in-law, John F. Kennedy, during the 1960 presidential campaign -- and helped persuade Kennedy to make a crucial decision, despite the fears of other staffers that there would be a white backlash. Martin Luther King was jailed in Georgia that fall, and Kennedy phoned King's wife to offer support.

Shriver was someone the Kennedy family would sometimes turn to for the hardest tasks. Jacqueline Kennedy relied on him to arrange the funeral for her murdered husband.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the founder of the Special Olympics. She died in 2009 at the age of 88.

They were the parents of Maria Shriver, the wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger.