Sargent Shriver, RIP

He has the distinction of being the last pro-life Democrat to run on a presidential ticket — or at least, the last so far.

He died today at the age of 95.   A remembrance and appreciation of him by Joshua Mercer, here at CatholicVote:

I hope you will join me in praying for the repose of his soul. Sargent Shriver was a daily communicant.

He might best be known for marrying into the Kennedy family. His wife, Eunice, was the sister of President John F. Kennedy. (Eunice preceded her Sargent in death by two years.) Sargent Shriver became the first head of the Peace Corps. And because of his familial relationship, he became George McGovern’s running mate in 1972 (after Eagleton was dropped from the ticket and no one else wanted the job). Perhaps he’s also known for being the father of Maria Shriver, and thus father-in-law of Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

But I hope that’s not all you come to know about this man and his legacy. He and his wife founded the Special Olympics. The Special Olympics were important to Eunice, whose sister, Rosemary, was mentally handicapped. The Special Olympics has done much to educate Americans of the dignity that all persons have, regardless of any physical setback.

As the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1972, Sargent Shriver remains to this day the last pro-life candidate to run on the presidential ticket as a Democrat.

But Ted Kennedy was pro-life in 1972 as well, right? But unlike other Kennedys, Shriver remained pro-life for the rest of his life. And he wasn’t quiet about it! In 1992, Eunice and Sargent Shriver joined Gov. Bob Casey in publishing a letter in a full-page ad in the New York Times. The letter protested the Democratic Party’s embrace of abortion in their party platform. Both Eunice and Sargent Shriver were strong supporters of pro-life organizations, including National Right to Life.

Read more.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him …


  1. Sad to see him go; was a big fan of the Shrivers. If only the rest of the Kennedys wouldn’t have caved for power.

    I wonder if there is even one Kennedy left who is truly pro life?

  2. Eunice and Sargent Shriver are true heroes of the Catholic Church in America. May our good and gracious Lord welcome them both into His eternal kingdom for their devotion to the faith and for their putting their faith into action.

  3. Pat McNamara says:

    About twelve years ago, I was at St. Patrick’s Church in Washington, D.C., on the feast of St. Therese. I remember there was a big painting of her on the side of the altar. After communion, an old man stood praying in front of it for a bit, long enough for me to take notice. At first, I didn’t know who it was; it was only later I realized it was Sargent Shriver.

    I know it’s not much of a story, but that moment really made an impression on me. He just struck me as so sincerely devout (with emphasis on the adverb).

  4. A beautiful tribute to an inspirational pro-life Democrat, a man of integrity, civility, and grace.

    I doubt that he would have belittled, ridiculed or judged the motives of those who did not agree with him, even his brother-in-law. (Why his in-law had to be brought up in this tribute baffles me.)

    He will be remembered (by me and I think many others) for his pro-life position and also for starting and supporting numerous programs which will limit abortions.

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