POSTED: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 5:07pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 12:12am
Man Behind 'Peace Corps', VISTA, Dies
MARYLAND— The man behind the launch of the Peace Corps has died Tuesday, NBC has confirmed.
Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. died Tuesday at the age of 95. Though no cause of death has been released, Shriver had been battling Alzheimer's disease since 2003. Shriver had been listed under critical condition at a Maryland hospital this week.
Shriver was the first director of the Peace Corps after then-President Kennedy asked Shriver to launch a project called the Peace Corps in 1961. It took Shriver only six months to the program started.
Shriver was married to President Kennedy's sister, Eunice Kennedy, in 1953. The couple had five children, including Maria Shriver, wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sargent, as he was better known to many, was also a vice-presidential nominee when he ran for office in 1972 with George McGovern.
Shriver also helped expand the Special Olympics with his wife, and also helped create Head Start, Job Corps, VISTA and many others.