Maria Owings Shriver – WOMAN of ACTION™



A Celebration of Women™


is elated to Celebrate the Life of one of America’s wonderful women that have devoted much of their lives to the betterment of living for all women. This lady has lived her life passionately in the world of journalism, opening her eyes and heart to the plight of women globally. Using this experience, passion and her success, she has spent a great deal of her life working for world peace and women’s rights being a human right. Through her reports, her books, her events, her activism and the powerful social community that she has built, this woman has become a leading voice for empowering women and inspiring all of us to be architects of positive change in our world.


“you are the leader you’ve been looking for”



maria_shriver profile

Maria Owings Shriver




Maria Owings Shriver (pron.: /ˈʃraɪvər/; born November 6, 1955) is an American journalist and author of six best-selling books. She 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 was formerly First Lady of California as the wife of actor and then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, from whom she is now separated. She is a member of the Kennedy family (her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver was a sister of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Edward Kennedy).

maria_shriver_02kennedyShriver was born in Chicago, Illinois. A Roman Catholic of German descent through her father and Irish descent through her mother, she is the second child and only daughter of the politician Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Shriver is the daughter Eunice Kennedy, the sister of President John F. Kennedy. In this July, 1963 photo, she enjoys a trip off Cape Cod with her cousin Caroline and her father.

Maria is the 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 five other siblings. Shriver attended Westland Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., and graduated in 1973 from Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda. She attended Manhattanville College for two years and 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.

maria shriver book-ten-things-180In 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 and weekend editions of NBC Nightly News from 1989 until 1993, and 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.

Shriver announced that she will not return to the news media after the excessive media coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

maria aiIn 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 peace builder 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 executive-produced 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. VIDEO HERE

maria 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 last year in partnership with TIME and NBC News. IMAGE

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.”

maria 043013shriver_dngnkOn April 30, 2013, NBC announced Shriver will join the network again as a special anchor working on issues surrounding the Shifting Roles of Women in American Life.

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 had four children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher.

After Governor Schwarzenegger took office, Shriver took on several key initiatives as first lady, which include 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 in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

Maria_Shriver-modArnold_Schwarzenegger_and_Shriver with her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 2007 Special Olympics in Shanghai, China

Shriver led the California Governor & First Lady’s Conference on Women from 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 was held at the Long Beach Convention Center in October. The event aims to inspire, empower and educate women to be Architects of Change. Hundreds of luminaries have spoken at the conference including Oprah Winfrey, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright, Barbara Walters, Warren Buffett, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Richard Branson, Bono, Billie Jean King, Gloria Steinem, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Maria-Shriver-CA-Womens-ConferenceIn 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 for the millions of individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. Through a partnership with La Opinion, the nation’s largest Spanish-speaking 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.

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 previously endorsed Senator John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination a few days earlier on January 31, 2008.

In 2008, Shriver launched her WE Invest Program, which provides training, mentoring, support networks, micro-loans 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 micro-lending 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.

MARIA art3a_mariaandsusanShriver 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.

First Lady Maria Shriver and State Librarian Susan Hildreth after the 2007 California Hall of Fame induction ceremony December 6, 2007[Photo courtesy California Museum for History, Women and the Arts]

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.

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.

maria 2013_logo_widget_newAs First Lady, Shriver has worked to promote service and volunteerism. As Honorary Chair of CaliforniaVolunteers, Shriver conceived of and launched the largest statewide volunteer matching network at 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.

Through CaliforniaVolunteers, Shriver has built 31 playgrounds with gardens in lower-income communities around the state in partnership with KaBOOM, a national nonprofit that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.

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.

On May 9, 2011, Schwarzenegger and Shriver announced their separation after 25 years of marriage, with Shriver moving 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 long-time 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, after confirming what she had suspected about the child, in an earlier confrontation with the housekeeper. 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.”

maria_dark_storyShriver hired a divorce lawyer, Laura Wasser and officially filed for divorce on July 1, 2011, citing “irreconcilable differences“. Wasser was hired before the news of the affair went public. Shriver had been meeting with her financial advisor for some months before the decision to file the divorce petition. Shriver has also hired a private investigator to investigate Schwarzenegger’s financial history and his personal life, including whether or not he has fathered more than one child out of wedlock. HATE-TORN MARIA SHRIVER’S DIVORCE WAR

Shriver has purchased a new $10 million house only three miles away from her former home with Schwarzenegger in Brentwood. Although she has requested custody of the couple’s two minor children, Patrick (now an adult) and 14-year-old Christopher, the mansions’ proximity will make it easier for the boys to travel between their parents’ houses.

maria 01shriver-1-articleInlineAPRIL 30, 2013 – Nearly a decade after she left NBC, Maria Shriver is returning to it as a “special anchor,” covering women’s issues for television and the Web. The announcement, made on the “Today” Show on Tuesday morning, is a significant moment in Ms. Shriver’s move away from political life.

Ms. Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family, was the first lady of California while her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was governor from 2003 to 2011.

She and Mr. Schwarzenegger separated in 2011 after he admitted that he had fathered a child with a member of their household staff a decade earlier. READ MORE

A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s

Welcome to A Woman’s Nation.

Maria als ABC News Here

Maria_Shriver_300x100_101310_d03Women are half the work force, raise our children and care for our elderly. Now there’s a new pressure on this Woman’s Nation: Alzheimer’s disease. Maria Shriver and the Alzheimer’s Association—the leader in Alzheimer’s care, support and research—released The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s on Oct. 14 to highlight the epidemic’s effect on women as caregivers, advocates and people living with this disease.

The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s demonstrates that women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s epidemic. According to the Alzheimer’s Association Women and Alzheimer’s Poll unveiled in the report, women are almost two-thirds of all Americans with Alzheimer’s and comprise 60 percent of the unpaid caregivers for family members and friends with Alzheimer’s. That means there are 10 million women who either have Alzheimer’s or are caring for someone with the disease. The toll Alzheimer’s has on individuals and caregivers is further compounded by the financial burden felt by families and the U.S. government.

The economic impact of Alzheimer’s disease—on government, families and business—totals about $300 billion per year in the United States. The cost of caring for a single person with Alzheimer’s is a whopping $56,800 a year, the bulk of it borne by each family. And all of these numbers are about to explode. With the baby boomers entering their mid-60s, an Alzheimer’s tsunami is about to hit, with the number of people with the disease expected to triple to 16 million by 2050.

A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary anthology of every facet of Alzheimer’s disease—medical, sociological, political and economic. The academic core of the report is composed of expert reviews of issues and trends, with analysis backed by the nationwide Alzheimer’s Association Women and Alzheimer’s Poll of 3,118 adults, including more than 500 Alzheimer’s caregivers.

maria home_shriverbox_calloutBut there’s more to Alzheimer’s than numbers. This report includes original photography by award-winning photojournalist Barbara Kinney and a kaleidoscope of personal essays. Contributors include Barbra Streisand, Terrell Owens, Soleil Moon Frye, ABC News “Nightline” anchor Terry Moran, CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen, former First Lady Laura Bush, President Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis, Alzheimer’s Study Group chairs Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Bob Kerrey, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Vice President Joe Biden. In addition, extraordinarily honest and moving essays by a diverse group of Americans—including teenage caregivers and women who are living with the disease today— further illustrate the toll Alzheimer’s is taking on the American landscape.

As the country climbs out of a deep recession, A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s examines the current and projected cost of Alzheimer’s to the nation and individual families. With 78 million baby boomers now moving into their later years, the cost of Alzheimer’s to American society is expected to be $20 trillion between now and the year 2050.

Unpaid family caregivers are on the front lines of the battle against Alzheimer’s. Over 11.2 million Americans provide billions of hours of unpaid care to people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. More often than not, women report stepping up to become the caregiver because no one else in their family will do it, and 40 percent of them say they had no choice. One-third of female Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are part of the Sandwich Generation, with children or grandchildren under the age of 18 living in their homes; as a result, women face a double burden. Caregivers’ own heath care costs an additional $4 billion a year due to the emotional and physical stress and strain of care giving.

Care giving at home almost always affects work and other responsibilities, and A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s finds that working women feel they get less support for elder care than they do for child care. Almost half of women caregivers report they have tried to get time off from work for their caregiving duties, but couldn’t get it.

This is the second in a series of Shriver Reports examining transformational moments in American culture and society. Last year, Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress published The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything, a landmark study examining how American families live and work today, now that women are half of all the country’s primary and co-breadwinners. The report launched a national conversation about the far-reaching consequences of women’s shifting roles in society that continues today.

“Through her reports, her books, her events, her activism and the powerful social community that she has built, Maria Shriver has become a leading voice for empowering women and inspiring all of us to be architects of change in our lives,” said Pat Fili-Krushel, the NBCUniversal News Group chairwoman, in a statement on Tuesday. “We are delighted that Maria will play such a key role in our efforts to examine this important topic, and all of us at the NBC family are excited to welcome her home.”

LOS ANGELES – Apr. 30, 2013 – As spare time declines and more Americans return to work, items that are easy to purchase, such as flowers and gift certificates, will be popular Mother’s Day gifts this year, according to industry research firm IBISWorld. Consumers, who have slowly returned to splurging on gifts for holidays such as Mother’s Day since the 2008 recession, are projected to spend 0.2 percent more on Mother’s Day purchases in 2013 than they did in 2012, to total $17.1 billion.

Maria Shriver is almost single and now gainfully employed …

as a “special anchor reporting on Women’s Issues” for the “Today” show.

TMZ has previously reported … Shriver wanted to get back into the broadcasting game, but didn’t want the day-to-day grind. She also wanted a TON of money. We’re told Arnold repeatedly told her she was always worth way more than NBC wanted to pay. Now Shriver will report on “Today” from time to time about all things women — from faith to finances.

As for her divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger … our sources say it’s close but no cigar yet — still some squabbling over finances. Read More

May 12, 2013


mothers-day-spending-300x200Mother’s Day is May 12, and so the 85 million moms currently living in the U.S. can expect to be showered with the requisite mom-gifts, like chocolates, cards and flowers. In fact, estimates this year show that Americans plan on spending over $17 billion demonstrating to our mothers exactly how much they mean to us.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who passed away in 2009, was the founder of the Special Olympics and a lifetime activist who championed the rights of the physically and intellectually disabled.

A woman who lived by her own standards—wearing men’s pants, smoking cigars and playing tackle football—Kennedy Shriver was a living example that women who raise children need not fit into a stereotyped mold in order to be successful at it.

She passed on to her daughter the importance not only of motherhood, but the importance of acknowledging the role, so that more women feel empowered in it.

But for Maria Shriver, the holiday isn’t about getting gifts, but is instead about sharing her own mother’s story in the hopes that it will inspire others.

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A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this powerhouse into our Alumni with open arms, celebrating her positive actions; and looking forward to enjoying her future endeavors for the betterment of all the women of our world.


Brava Maria!



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