NPR logo Sargent Shriver, Peace Corps Founder & 1972 VP Nominee, Is Dead

Sargent Shriver, Peace Corps Founder & 1972 VP Nominee, Is Dead

R. Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps and the 1972 Democratic nominee for vice president, has died.  He was 95 years old and suffered from Alzheimer's.

His wife, Eunice Kennedy Shriver — sister of the late President John F. Kennedy — died in August 2009.

Shriver headed the Peace Corps during the administration of his brother-in-law, and stayed on after Kennedy's assassination to serve under President Johnson.  He briefly considered running for governor of Maryland in 1970 but ultimately did not.

In 1972, following the abrupt withdrawal of Sen. Thomas Eagleton from the Democratic ticket, Shriver was tapped by presidential nominee George McGovern as his replacement.  The McGovern-Shriver ticket lost to Republicans Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in a landslide.  Four years later, Shriver sought the Democratic nomination for president but a fifth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary hurt his cause.

More later in my Political Junkie column.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.