Nixon Enemies List entry for
Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr.:
|List and position:||First, #177|
|Name as originally listed:||R. Sargent Shriver, Jr.|
|Vitals:||11/9/1915 - 1/18/2011|
|Comment on original list:||former U.S. Ambassador to France; lawyer, Strasser, Spiegelberg, Fried, Frank & Kempelman, Washington, D.C.|
|Category given:||Business Additions|
- listed under "Business Additions," and not under McGovern supporters.
- Just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the Navy, which has no sergeants.
- led a student trip to France in 1939 with the Experiment in International Living. Once home, he joined the isolationist America First club at Yale and protested actively against any American involvement. (This was after the Nazi invasion of Poland, but before Pearl Harbor.)
- After the war, he was briefly an assistant editor of Newsweek.
- known as "Sarge" from early childhood. His father (RSS Sr.) was apparently known as "Robert" and his son (RSS III) is known as "Bobby." His father's and son's lives did not overlap.
- married Eunice Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy.
- never elected to statewide or national political office, abandoning his own aspirations (for Illinois governor in 1960, vice president in 1964 and 1968, and Maryland governor in 1970). Instead, he dutifully worked for the Kennedy candidates.
- convinced JFK to help get Martin Luther King, Jr. out of a Georgia jail in October 1960, a risky move that helped JFK win 70% of the black vote the following month.
- founder of the Peace Corps in 1961 with JFK's support.
- director of President Johnson's "Office of Economic Opportunity," a centerpiece of the War on Poverty. The agency created Head Start along with other enduring agencies that aided the poor.
- His lifelong work for social justice and his success in helping candidates get elected are typical of people on the First Enemies List.
- Ambassador to France, 1968-1970, helping to ease difficult relations with France at the time, using his fluent, heavily-accented French.
- Nixon kept Shriver on as French Ambassador in 1969 after reportedly considering offering him the UN ambassadorship.
- was not publicly against the Vietnam War and some Democrats thought he was too cooperative with Johnson. He was peripherally involved in the 1968 Paris Peace Talks.
- became vice presidential candidate in August 1972 after Thomas Eagleton (who was never on the Enemies List) stepped down after revelations of a history of depression.
- His V.P. candidacy had nothing to do with his position on the list. (The first list was compiled in Sept. 1971.)
- supported Muskie early in 1972 with a $2000 donation.
- As the new V.P. candidate in August 1972, he famously said that Nixon "blew it" back in 1969 with the Paris Peace Talks.
- Daughter, Maria Shriver, was a national television news anchor before before husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was governor of California.
- Maria Shriver produced the documentary, "American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver" in 2008.
- Shriver was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2003 and mostly disappeared from public view. Maria wrote a children's book about Alzheimer's, "What's Happening to Grandpa?"
- "Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver" is the exhaustive 2004 biography by Scott Stossel.
- Shriver's official website, SargentShriver.org includes a detailed remembrance by biographer Stossel (2011).
- received Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton on Aug. 8, 1994, 20th anniversary of Nixon's announcement of resignation.
- The Special Olympics started in his backyard. Eunice started a day camp there for mentally disabled children in 1962 and it grew into the International Special Olympics.
- No obituaries mentioned his place on the Enemies List (although the Washington Post noted that he was named to "Best Dressed" lists). There seems to be no published quotations about his reaction to the list.
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