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Mourners Remember Sargent Shriver


Sargent Shriver in 1965

Sargent Shriver in 1965

First Peace Corps director died Tuesday at the age of 95

Mourners gathered Saturday to remember veteran U.S. politician and former Peace Corps director Sargent Shriver.

Shriver, brother-in-law to slain U.S. President John F. Kennedy, died Tuesday at age 95, after suffering for years from Alzheimer's disease.

A funeral Mass was held Saturday at a church in the eastern state of Maryland. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama were among those in attendance.

Shriver was the first director of the Peace Corps, the volunteer program established under President Kennedy that allows Americans to serve in underdeveloped countries.

He was married to President Kennedy's sister, Eunice, who founded the Special Olympics program for the mentally disabled in 1968. She died in 2009.

Shriver also served in the White House under President Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson, and was Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern's vice presidential running mate in 1972. Shriver himself ran unsuccessfully for the White House in 1976.

In 1994, Shriver received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian honor.

The Shriver family issued a statement earlier this week calling their patriarch a man of giant love and energy who sought to make the world a more compassionate place. U.S. President Barack Obama called Shriver one of the brightest lights of his generation.

Shriver's grandchildren shared memories of him at Saturday's funeral, recalling his service and love of baseball.

The memorial also featured performances by Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean and Bono, frontman for the Irish rock band U2.

Shriver's daughter, Maria Shriver, is married to former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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