Vanity Fair – May 2011
BECAUSE they are undaunted by having such enormous shoes to fill: Their mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who died in 2009, was a hurricane of energy, possessed of fierce faith and will. She founded the Special Olympics and changed the fate of millions of the intellectually disabled worldwide. Their father, Sargent Shriver, equally iconic, who died in January, was the founding director of the Peace Corps, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. He also led L.B.J.’s War on Poverty, was a vice-presidential candidate and ambassador to France, co-founded Foster Grandparents, and served as president of the Special Olympics. BECAUSE they have followed their parents’ example and distinguished themselves by embracing public service: Bobby, 56, the former mayor of Santa Monica, ushered in the current era of Third World celebrity causes by introducing Bono to Washington, D.C., and advocating with him for debt relief in Africa. Together they created the highly successful (Product) Red to raise money to fight AIDS there. Maria, 55, the former First Lady of California and the wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger, has written six best-selling books, won three Emmys—two as executive producer of HBO’s The Alzheimer’s Project (Sargent Shriver was a victim of the disease)—and helped create the annual Women’s Conference to inspire and empower women. Tim, 51, the current C.E.O. of the Special Olympics, is a gifted writer and blogger on religious and moral issues. Mark, 47, who served two terms in the Maryland state legislature, is vice president and managing director of U.S. programs for Save the Children. Anthony, 45, is the founder of Best Buddies International, a mentoring program for the intellectually disabled, now with 1,500 chapters in schools and colleges worldwide. BECAUSE among them they have 19 children, who are also being groomed to serve.