|First Lady of California|
November 17, 2003 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Sharon Davis|
|Succeeded by||Anne Gust Brown|
Maria Owings Shriver
November 6, 1955
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
(m. 1986; div. 2011)
|Children||4, including Katherine and Patrick Schwarzenegger|
|Parents||Sargent Shriver (father)|
Eunice Kennedy (mother)
|Relatives||see Kennedy family|
|Residence||Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Georgetown University (B.A.)|
Maria Owings Shriver (//; born November 6, 1955) is an American journalist, author, former First Lady of California, and the founder of the nonprofit organization The Women's Alzheimer's Movement. She was married to former Governor of California and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, from whom she filed for divorce in 2011. Shriver has received a Peabody Award and was co-anchor for NBC's Emmy-winning coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics. As executive producer of The Alzheimer's Project, Shriver earned two Emmy Awards and an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences award for developing a "television show with a conscience". She is a member of the Kennedy family; her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was a sister of John F., Robert and Ted Kennedy. Shriver is currently a “special” anchor and correspondent for NBC News.
Shriver was born in Chicago, Illinois, on November 6, 1955, the second child and only daughter of the politician Sargent Shriver and activist Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Shriver is a niece of United States President John F. Kennedy, U.S. Attorney General and U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, and six other prominent siblings. A Roman Catholic, she is of mostly Irish and German descent.
Shriver attended Westland Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland, and graduated in 1973 from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda. She attended Manhattanville College for two years, then transferred and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in American studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in June 1977.
Media career and advocacy
In her book Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out Into The Real World (2000), Shriver says that she became passionate about broadcast journalism after being sent to the back of the campaign plane with the press corps while volunteering for her father's 1972 U.S. vice presidential race, calling these orders "the best thing that ever happened to me". After her journalism career began with KYW-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she co-anchored The CBS Morning News with Forrest Sawyer from August 1985 until August 1986, co-anchored NBC News's Sunday Today from 1987 until 1990. Shriver also served as Saturday anchor 1989 & Sunday 1990 of NBC Nightly News. She was a contributing anchor on Dateline NBC from 1992 until 2004. In August 2003, Shriver took an unpaid leave of absence from NBC News when her husband became a candidate in the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election.
Following her husband's November 17, 2003, inauguration as the 38th Governor of California, she became the First Lady of California. She then returned to reporting, making two more appearances for Dateline NBC.
On February 3, 2004, Shriver asked to be "relieved of [her] duties at NBC News," citing concerns the network had over the conflict of interest between her role as a journalist and her status as the First Lady of California and her increasing role as an advocate of her husband's administration.
She appeared as herself in the film Last Action Hero (1993). She also played a minor role as herself in "Be Prepared", a 2006 episode of the television series That's So Raven promoting a "Preparedness Plan". On March 23, 2007, Shriver returned to television news as substitute host of panel-discussion talk show Larry King Live on CNN with musician Sheryl Crow and other guests.
In 2008, Shriver executive-produced American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver. The documentary originally aired on PBS on January 21, 2008. The film chronicled the life, accomplishments and vision of her father, Sargent Shriver. Shriver also serves on the advisory board of the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute, which raises public awareness of her father's legacy as a peacebuilder and offers educational and training programs grounded in the principles of public service that motivate the many programs he created, including the Peace Corps, Job Corps, Head Start, and Legal Services for the Poor.
Shriver has been a lifelong advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. She is a member of the International Board of Special Olympics, the organization her mother founded in 1968. She is also on the advisory board of Best Buddies, a one-to-one friendship and jobs program for people with intellectual disabilities. In addition, Shriver serves as Chair of the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle, a bike ride that raises millions of dollars for programs supporting people with intellectual disabilities. As First Lady, Shriver has been instrumental in the hiring of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the capitol and in various state offices through her WE Include program. In February 2008, Shriver launched an ice cream company called Lovin' Scoopful with her brother, Tim Shriver. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from Lovin' Scoopful benefits the Special Olympics.
Shriver was the executive producer of "The Alzheimer's Project", a four-part documentary series that premiered on HBO in May 2009 and later earned two Emmy Awards. It was described by the Los Angeles Times as "ambitious, disturbing, emotionally fraught and carefully optimistic". The series took a close look at cutting-edge research being done in the country's leading Alzheimer's laboratories. The documentary also examined the effects of this disease on patients and families. One of the Emmy Award-winning films, Grandpa, Do you Know Who I Am? is based on Shriver's best-selling children's book dealing with Alzheimer's.
In 2016, Shriver published the coloring book Color Your Mind, a coloring book for people with Alzheimer's.
In 2018, she published I've Been Thinking...: Reflections Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life, which became an instant No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Shriver released a companion journal, I've Been Thinking...The Journal: Reflections, Prayers and Inspirations for Your Meaningful Life, in January 2019.
The Shriver Report
In October 2009, Shriver launched "The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything," a national study and comprehensive report conducted in partnership with the Center for American Progress, USC's Annenberg Center on Communication, Leadership and Policy, and the Rockefeller Foundation. The Shriver Report revealed that American women, for the first time, make up half of the United States workforce and studied how that fact is impacting major institutions like family, business, government and faith organizations. The report was released in 2013 in partnership with TIME and NBC News. According to The New York Times, the report "was modeled on a study undertaken almost 50 years ago during the administration of John F. Kennedy, Shriver's uncle, and led by Eleanor Roosevelt." The report features, among other things, writings by public figures including Suze Orman, Beyoncé, Tammy Duckworth, Billie Jean King, Heidi Hartmann, Susan J. Douglas, Stephanie Coontz, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, John Podesta, and Oprah Winfrey.
In 2010 The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's was published. It is a study by Maria Shriver and the Alzheimer's Association. It features, among other things, writings by public figures including Barbra Streisand, Laura Bush, Patti Davis, Soleil Moon Frye, Rosalynn Carter, Susan Collins, Kathleen Sebelius, Barbara Mikulski, and Joe Biden.
In 2014, The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink was published; it is about women and their children in poverty. It is by Maria Shriver, with editors Olivia Morgan, and Karen Skelton, and features, among other things, writings by public figures including Carol Gilligan, Beyoncé, Joan Chittister, Ai-Jen Poo, Eva Longoria, Stephanie Coontz, Jennifer Garner, Kathleen Sebelius, Jada Pinkett Smith, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Tory Burch, Sheryl Sandberg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Barbara Ehrenreich, LeBron James, and Hillary Clinton.
First Lady of California
After Arnold took office, Shriver took on several key initiatives as First Lady, which included raising awareness of the contributions of women to the state, working on practical solutions to end cycles of poverty, and encouraging all Californians to engage in acts of service to their communities. Once Schwarzenegger was elected, Shriver had to cut back on her news reporting to avoid conflicts of interest.
Shriver began leading the California Governor & First Lady's Conference on Women when Schwarzenegger took office in 2003. Under her leadership, The Women's Conference event grew into the nation's premier forum for women and, in 2010, attracted more than 30,000 attendees and 150 world opinion leaders over three full days. Each year, the event is held at the Long Beach Convention Center in October. Luminaries have spoken at the conference including Oprah Winfrey, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright, Barbara Walters, Warren Buffett, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Richard Branson, Bono, Billie Jean King, Gloria Steinem, and the Dalai Lama.
In 2004, Shriver created The Minerva Awards to honor and reward "remarkable California women" who have changed their communities, their state, their country and the world with their courage, wisdom and strength. The Minerva Awards are named after Minerva, the Roman goddess who adorns the California State Seal and "who symbolizes the dual nature of women as warriors and peacemakers". The Minerva Awards are presented annually at The Women's Conference in Long Beach during a special ceremony. Recipients of the award also receive a grant to continue their work. Past Minerva Awards recipients include former first lady Betty Ford, Nancy Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Billie Jean King, astronaut Sally Ride and the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Shriver's mother. The achievements of The Minerva Award winners are chronicled in a permanent exhibit at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento and have become part of California's official state archive.
In 2005, Shriver launched her WE Connect Program, which connects working families in need with money-saving programs and support services. WE Connect brings together community organizations and businesses, government agencies and state leaders, congregations and schools as partners in responding to the needs of the millions of individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. Through a partnership with La Opinion, the nation's largest Spanish-language newspaper, WE Connect has developed three editions of a 24-page, full-color, bilingual supplement that has been circulated to over 20 million Californians in need. In December 2009, Shriver, in partnership with The Women's Conference, created the WE Connect–Million Meals Initiative. Through this initiative, The Women's Conference made a donation to The California Association of Food Banks to provide more than one million meals to California families in need. The donation was allocated to the food bank's 44 member organizations who then distributed the food to California families through its more than 5,000 community-based organizations. In March 2010, Shriver held a three-day Community Resources Fair in Fresno and Los Angeles through WE Connect. The fairs provided vital programs and free support services such as tax preparation, housing and home foreclosure assistance, job assistance, flu shots, healthy food distribution and more. Event organizers estimated that over 40,000 individuals took advantage of free services during the course of the two weekends, and hundreds of thousands pounds of food were distributed.
As First Lady, Shriver worked to promote service and volunteerism. As Honorary Chair of CaliforniaVolunteers, Shriver conceived of and launched the largest statewide volunteer matching network at CaliforniaVolunteers.org. Shriver was instrumental in inspiring Governor Schwarzenegger to establish the nation's first state cabinet-level Department of Service and Volunteering. She also pioneered and promoted a statewide disaster preparedness program called WE Prepare that encourages and educates Californians to be ready for an emergency or natural disaster. In addition, Shriver established WE Build and WE Garden, a children's playground and community garden-building initiative. “Try growing Tomatoes, I’ beans don’t grow,” she exclaimed. Through CaliforniaVolunteers, Shriver has built 31 playgrounds with gardens in lower-income communities around the state in partnership with KaBOOM!.
In 2008, Shriver launched her WE Invest Program, which provides training, mentoring, support networks, microloans and other resources to help women launch or grow their businesses. In June 2009, she expanded WE Invest nationally through a partnership with Kiva, creating the first-ever online peer-to-peer microlending program in the U.S. Shriver is credited with coming up with the idea to bring Kiva's international micro-lending model to the United States.
Shriver is Co-Chair of The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts and she has been credited with revitalizing the state museum during her tenure. Shriver created the California Hall of Fame in 2006 at the Museum to honor legendary Californians such as Cesar Chavez, Clint Eastwood, Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart, Ronald Reagan, John Steinbeck, Rita Moreno, Earl Warren, Julia Morgan, Leland Stanford, Dorothea Lange and others. In November 2008, Shriver launched the California Legacy Trails, a first-of-its-kind web-based multimedia learning tool designed to help students learn California history.
On February 3, 2008, Shriver endorsed Senator Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. The endorsement was given at a UCLA rally featuring Caroline Kennedy; Oprah Winfrey; Stevie Wonder; and the candidate's spouse, Michelle Obama. Governor Schwarzenegger had endorsed Senator John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination a few days earlier on January 31, 2008.
In May 2009, Shriver planted the first edible garden at a state capitol in what once was a flower bed. She teamed up with Alice Waters on the project. The food grown in the organic garden is distributed to local food banks. Shriver has been an advocate for edible gardens and chairs the California School Garden Network that has doubled the number of gardens in state schools from 3,000 to 6,000 since 2004.
Return to NBC News
- 1978–1985: KYW-TV anchor
- 1985–1986: The CBS Morning News co-anchor
- 1986–2004: NBC News
- 2003–2011: First Lady of California
- 2013–present: NBC News
In 1977, Tom Brokaw introduced Maria to Austrian bodybuilder and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at a charity tennis tournament being held at her mother's home. She married Schwarzenegger on April 26, 1986, in Hyannis, Massachusetts, at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church. They have four children: Katherine (born December 13, 1989), Christina (born July 23, 1991), Patrick (born September 18, 1993), and Christopher (born September 27, 1997); all were born in Los Angeles. 
On May 9, 2011, Schwarzenegger and Shriver announced their separation after 25 years of marriage, and Shriver moved out of the couple's Brentwood mansion. In a message for her Twitter followers posted on May 13, 2011, Shriver said: "Thank you all for the kindness, support and compassion. I am humbled by the love. Thank you."
On May 17, 2011, Schwarzenegger publicly admitted to fathering a child with a longtime member of their household staff, Mildred Patricia Baena, 14 years earlier, and before his election as Governor of California. He confessed to Shriver only after she confronted him with the information, having earlier confirmed what she had suspected about the child in a confrontation with Baena. Shriver described Schwarzenegger's admission as "painful and heartbreaking". She declined to speak further on the issue, saying: "As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal." Shriver filed for divorce on July 1, 2011, citing "irreconcilable differences".
As executive producer of The Alzheimer's Project, Shriver earned two Emmy Awards and an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences award for developing a "television show with a conscience". She has additionally won Peabody awards for her television journalism.
In 2009, Shriver was honored with the Shinnyo-en Foundation's 2009 Pathfinders to Peace Award, which is bestowed annually to a person who exemplifies the ideals of compassion, harmony and peace. At the presentation ceremony honoring Shriver, the foundation's chief executive said, "Maria Shriver sees the best in other people – their innate goodness – and inspires them to become their own 'Architects of Change'. In a world that glorifies ambition at any cost, Maria instead teaches character. She is a woman of quiet strength who role-models kindness and charity, and has used her celebrity to help create peace in the world."
- Maria Shriver; Sandra Speidel (February 1999). What's Heaven?. Golden Books Adult Publishing. ISBN 978-0-312-38241-4.
- Maria Shriver (April 4, 2000). Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out Into The Real World. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-52612-8.
- Maria Shriver; Sandra Speidel (October 16, 2001). What's Wrong With Timmy?. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-23337-8.
- Maria Shriver; Sandra Speidel (April 28, 2004). What's Happening to Grandpa?. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-00101-4.
- Maria Shriver (April 5, 2005). And One More Thing Before You Go... The Free Press. ISBN 978-0-7432-8101-0.
- Maria Shriver (February 27, 2018). I've Been Thinking...: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life. Penguin Publishing Group. ISBN 9780525559917.
- Shriver known for her political bloodlines (October 9, 2003) Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved February 5, 2008.
- "About Us". The Women's Alzheimer's Movement. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
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- About the Contributors Archived May 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine The Shriver Report. Accessed May 23, 2011.
- Well-known Georgetown Alumni Archived June 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed May 23, 2011.
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- "Shriver's legacy lives on through Best Buddies". Archived from the original on October 26, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "We Include". State of California. Archived from the original on November 17, 2010.
- "Using Ice Cream for Good: How Lovin' Scoopful is Working for the Special Olympics". The Huffington Post. April 29, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- HBO. "HBO Documentaries: The Alzheimer's Project". Retrieved October 8, 2014.
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- "Maria Shriver's coloring book for Alzheimer's patients and their families".
- Shriver, Maria (2018). I've Been Thinking ...: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life. ISBN 0525522603.
- "Hoda and Jenna revealed their Mother's Day wish lists — and we want everything". TODAY.com. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
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- Carter, Bill (September 28, 2009). "NBC Plans a Week of Coverage on Evolving Role of Women". The New York Times.
- Shriver, Maria (October 20, 2009). The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything. ISBN 9781439187630. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Shriver, Maria (October 19, 2010). The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes On Alzheimer's. ISBN 9781451628999. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Shriver, Maria (October 19, 2010). The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes On Alzheimer's. ISBN 9781451628999. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Shriver, Maria (October 19, 2010). The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes On Alzheimer's. ISBN 9781451628999. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink: Maria Shriver, Olivia Morgan, Karen Skelton. St. Martin's Griffin. March 11, 2014. ISBN 9781137279743.
- "A Special Message from Maria Shriver & the Shriver Report Team". July 31, 2014.
- Shriver, Maria; Progress, Center for American (March 11, 2014). The Shriver Report. ISBN 9781137279743. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "In Step With: Maria Shriver". Parade Magazine. April 10, 2005. Archived from the original on June 5, 2009.
- "Women's Conference's future in Long Beach uncertain after 2010". Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Maria Shriver Announces Her Women's Conference Lineup". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Maria Shriver Announces Star-Studded Women's Conference". July 14, 2008. Archived from the original on November 3, 2009.
- "'Remarkable California women' honored with Minerva Awards". Archived from the original on June 15, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Betty Chinn accepts Minerva Award, wins over crowd". times-standard.com. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "'A tsunami of hope': Maria Shriver cuts ribbon on Eureka's first public shower facility". times-standard.com. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Minerva Award Exhibit". California Museum. Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- One Million Meals for Families in Need Archived May 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Thadeus Greenson. "California first family hosts Betty Chinn, encourages outreach". Times-Standard Online. Archived from the original on May 6, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
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- Maria Shriver Talks About 'We Connect Weekend'[dead link]
- Steinhauer, Jennifer (February 26, 2008). "California Creates Cabinet Post to Manage Volunteers". The New York Times.
- "Obama and Maria Shriver: Making space for play – for all generations". USA Today. June 22, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Abrams, Rhonda (June 12, 2009). "Strategies: Shriver's big on small loans, for good reason". USA Today. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Kiva Brings Microlending Home To U.S. Entrepreneurs In Need". TechCrunch. June 10, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Home Page | California Museum". Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "History". California Museum. Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
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- Buchanan, Wyatt (May 21, 2009). "Capitol edible garden arrives with star power". Politics Blog. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Shriver Gets Her Hands Dirty Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
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- "Maria Owings Shriver Wed To Arnold Schwarzenegger". The New York Times. April 27, 1986.
- "The Birth of Katherine Schwarzenegger". California Birth Index.
- Pace, Eric (July 24, 1991). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2008.
- Brozan, Nadine (September 21, 1993). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2008.
- Brozan, Nadine (September 30, 1997). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2008.
- Mark Z. Barabak (May 9, 2011). "Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver announce separation". Los Angeles Times.
- Hax, Carolyn (May 10, 2011). "Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, say they're separating". Washington Post. Associated Press.
- Dan Whitcomb (May 10, 2011). "Arnold Schwarzenegger, wife Maria Shriver separate". Reuters.
- Barabak, Mark Z.; Kim, Victoria (May 17, 2011). "Schwarzenegger fathered a child with longtime member of household staff May 17, 2011". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Reich, Ashley (May 2011). "Arnold Schwarzenegger Fathered A Child With Member Of Household Staff". Huffington Post. USA.
- "How Maria found out: Arnie's wife reportedly confronted lover about child". Sydney Morning Herald. May 20, 2011.
- Powers, Lindsay (May 17, 2011). "Maria Shriver Speaks Out: 'This Is a Painful and Heartbreaking Time'". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Topic Galleries – baltimoresun.com". Retrieved October 8, 2014.[permanent dead link]
- "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. FamousDockets.com. Retrieved 7/4/2011". Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Still Married After 7-Year Divorce Case".
- The Reliable Source (November 1, 2013). "Schwarzenegger follows his passion; Maria follows hers — a new boyfriend". The Washington Post.
- "Shriver, Gore honored by TV academy". TODAY.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Maria Shriver – Dateline NBC". NBC News. January 13, 2004. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
- Shinnyo-en Foundation names UC Berkeley chancellor and Maria Shriver its 2009 'Pathfinders to Peace' Archived June 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Maria Shriver receiving Shinnyo-en Foundation's Award at 2009 NCVS". Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "The Maria Shriver Nursery". Saint John's Health Center. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "Rose named in honor of Maria Shriver". Archived from the original on November 18, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- "Forum Highlight | Forum 2017 | Alzheimer's Association". Alzheimer's Association | Advocacy Forum 2017f. March 18, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Maria Shriver.|
- Official website
- A Woman's Nation
- The Shriver Report
- Maria Shriver on IMDb
- Works by or about Maria Shriver in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
| First Lady of California
Anne Gust Brown