Maria Shriver biography
Born on November 6, 1955, in Chicago, Illinois, Maria Shriver is the niece of John F. Kennedy. She started as a news writer and producer at a Philadelphia television station. She joined NBC in 1986 as a correspondent. She resigned in 2003 when her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, became the Governor of California. After Schwarzenegger's infidelity was revealed, the couple divorced in 2011. She is an advocate for several causes including playgrounds in lower income neighborhoods.
Journalist and former First Lady of California Maria Owings Shriver was born on November 6, 1955, in Chicago, Illinois. Shriver is the daughter of prominent politican and diplomat Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of John F. and Robert Kennedy. She graduated from Georgetown University in June 1977 with a B.A. in American studies and began her career as a newswriter and producer for Philadelphia's KYW-TV later that year. In 1978, she started work at Baltimore's WJZ-TV, where she wrote and produced the Baltimore-based show Evening Magazine. In September 1983, Shriver began reporting for CBS News and soon won a spot as co-anchor of the CBS Morning News.
In 1986, she joined NBC News as a correspondent for the news show 1986 and an anchor for Main Street, a news magazine aimed at young people. From 1987 to 1990, she served as a co-anchor on NBC's Sunday Today. In 1990, she began hosting a series of news specials entitled First Person with Maria Shriver. Since then she has conducted numerous notable interviews including spots with Fidel Castro, Ted Turner, Magic Johnson and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
First Lady of California
Shriver was a reporter for NBC's Dateline NBC from 1989 until August of 2003, when she took a leave of absence when her husband, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, became a candidate in the California recall election. Upon his inauguration as the 38th Governor of California on November 17, 2003, Shriver became the First Lady of California. A few months later, she resigned from NBC citing a conflict of interest between her role as a journalist and her status as first lady.
As First Lady of California, Shriver served as an advocate for many social causes. She helped develop and launch a special website to match volunteers with organizations needing assistance. Shriver has also supported the construction of playgrounds and community gardens in lower income areas.
Shriver serves on the boards of numerous charitiable organizations, including Best Buddies, which pairs mentors with people with intellectual disabilities. Another cause close to her heart is the Special Olympics, which was established by her mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968.
Serving as executive producer, Shriver helped bring the documentary The Alzheimer's Project to television in May 2009. The four-part program provided an in-depth look at this devastating brain disorder. Advancing understanding of the disease and supporting medical research is a personal mission for Shriver.
Her father has Alzheimer's disease.
Later in 2009, Shriver experienced two great personal losses. Her mother died on August 11th at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Two weeks later, Shriver lost her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, who had been battling brain cancer. After her uncle's death, Shriver appeared on Meet the Press. She described her late uncle as "the most compassionate, empathetic man."
She faced another challenging time in her life in 2011. It was revealed in May that Schwarzenegger had fathered a child with Mildred Patricia Baena, the couple's house keeper for two decades. After Schwarzenegger acknowledged that he had an affair more than a decade ago and that the child was his, Shriver moved out of their Brentwood mansion. Shriver later filed for divorce from her husband of more than 20 years.
Outside of the world of politics, Shriver has established herself as a successful author. She has written several works, including a successful series of children's books. Her most recent work is Just Who Will You Be? (2008).
Shriver and her husband have four children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher.