Sargent Shriver, a former candidate for vice president and a member of the famed Kennedy family, has died. He was 95.
Shriver, father of former California First Lady and TV personality Maria Shriver, became a member of the Kennedy clan when he married Eunice Kennedy in 1953. He went into his new family's business, becoming a key member of John F. Kennedy's administration. During that time he helped found the Peace Corps.
After JFK's assassination, he stayed on in the Johnson Administration, creating a slew of social programs that formed the heart of Johnson's "war on poverty."
He became a candidate himself in 1972, when George McGovern chose him as his running mate. However, the McGovern-Shriver ticket lost in a landslide to Richard Nixon.
Shriver was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2003. He died Tuesday in suburban Washington surrounded by his family, including Maria Shriver, who is married to former Calif. Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a statement, the family said:
"Our dad, Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., lovingly known as ‘Sarge,’ today went to heaven to join the love of his life, our mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He was surrounded by his five children, five children in-law, and his 19 grandchildren. “He was a man of giant love, energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. He lived to make the world a more joyful, faithful, and compassionate place. He centered everything on his faith and his family. He worked on stages both large and small but in the end, he will be best known for his love of others,” the statement continues. “No one ever came into his presence without feeling his passion and his enthusiasm for them. He loved God, he loved Eunice, he loved us, he loved anyone who was a servant of peace, justice or joy. He loved life.” President Obama called him "one of the brightest lights of the greatest generation."
He added, "Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Sarge came to embody the idea of public service."