Sargent Shriver, Peace Corps Founder and VP Candidate, Dies


"I think you have to recalibrate yourself every single time you see your father, and you have to introduce yourself to him," Shriver told "GMA."

When she walked into his room, Shriver must tell her father that she is his daughter and that her name is Maria.

"He'll go, 'Oh, my goodness, you are?'" she said.

"At the age of 93, my dad still goes to Mass every day. And believe it or not, he still remembers the Hail Mary. But he doesn't remember me, Maria," she said in testimony before Congress in 2009. "I'd be lying if I didn't admit that still makes me cry."

Sargent Shriver received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton in 1994, the United State's highest civilian honor, as recognition for his lifetime of public service.

Shriver was from a generation of Americans that embraced public service and sacrifice. He was a founder of the anti-war group America First before World War II but, when the war started, he enlisted in the Navy and served for five years.

In a 2004 New York Times story on the Peace Corps, he was quoted as telling graduating students at Yale, his alma mater, to break all their mirrors. ''Yes, indeed,'' he said, ''shatter the glass. In our society that is so self-absorbed, begin to look less at yourself and more at each other. Learn more about the face of your neighbor, and less about your own.''

In a speech to a Peace Corps audience in the 1960s, Shriver described his take on life and death.

"The politics of death is bureaucracy, routine, rules, status quo," he said. "The politics of life is personal initiative, creativity, flair, dash, a little daring. The politics of death is calculation, prudence, measured gestures.

"The politics of life is experience, spontaneity, grace, directness. The politics of death is fear of youth. The politics of life is to trust the young to their own experiences."

Shriver is survived by his five children and 19 grandchildren.

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