R.I.P. Sargent Shriver
Travel Blog • Jim Benning • 01.19.11 | 1:59 PM ET
Among his many other accomplishments, Shriver, who died yesterday at the age of 95, was the founding director of the Peace Corps.
PeaceCorps.org has a tribute to Shriver. It notes that President Kennedy signed the executive order establishing the Peace Corps in March of 1961 and named Shriver to head the agency three days later.
By December of 1961, there were more than 500 Peace Corps volunteers serving in nine host countries: Chile, Colombia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, St. Lucia, Tanzania, and Pakistan, with an additional 200 Americans in training for service across the U.S.
By 1963, Shriver was leading an agency with more than 6,500 volunteers serving in nearly 50 countries. It was an extraordinary effort that only could have been accomplished by a leader with immense skill, audacious vision, and indefatigable energy. Shriver’s idealism and enthusiasm were essential to the creation and character of the agency; he is the founding father of the Peace Corps.