Sargent Shriver Dies After Long Battle With Alzheimers

Sheri Reed

R. Sargent Shriver
Sargent Shriver, after the funeral of Eunice Kennedy Shriver
R. Sargent Shriver -- famously known as an anti-poverty crusader, Peace Corps founder, father to Maria Shriver and her four siblings, father-in-law to Arnold Schwarzenegger, husband to Eunice Kennedy, and brother-in-law and political fixer to President John F. Kennedy -- known as "Sarge" to friends and family, passed away today at age 95 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Sargent Shriver not only served his country in World War II, but he worked on desegregation in Chicago before marrying Eunice Kennedy and becoming a trusted family adviser to President Kennedy.

Shriver worked as an executive for the senior Kennedy and helped him to win in two critical primary states. Once John F. Kennedy took office, Shriver researched and founded an overseas volunteer program, which became the Peace Corps, and became its first director.

After Kennedy's assassination, Shriver served as a special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson and then as director of the Office of Economic Opportunity where he continued the fight against poverty. He also served as the United States ambassador to France and was the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1972.

After ending his political career, Shriver practiced law, served as president and then chairman of the Special Olympics, and helped oversee the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation with Eunice.

Since Sargent Shriver was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2002, daughter Maria Shriver has been deeply involved in raising funding for Alzheimer's care and research and raising awareness to reduce some of the stigma of the disease.

"I think you have to recalibrate yourself every single time you see your father, and you have to introduce yourself to him," Maria Shriver told Good Morning America in 2009.

His wife Eunice died in August 2009; however, Sarge was surrounded by his five children and 19 grandchildren when he died in a Washington-area hospital today.

We send our condolences to the Shriver, Kennedy, and Schwarzenegger families. May Sargent Shriver rest in peace.

Image via SplashNews

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