Surrounded by Fame - Maria Shriver

Since she was born, Maria Shriver has lived among the "movers and shakers." She is part of a family known as leaders in American politics - the Kennedys. She married movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Her husband became governor of California in 2003. Shriver has been described as "a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend." But don't think of Maria only as daughter, niece, or wife of one or the other of the famous people in her life. In fact, Maria is a "mover and shaker" in her own right.

Shriver was born November 6, 1955, in Chicago. Her father, Sargent Shriver, was a politician who later founded the Peace Corps under President John F. Kennedy. Her mother, Eunice Kennedy, was sister to John F. Kennedy. Maria was the only girl among four brothers. She grew up near Washington, D.C. She attended Georgetown, her father's college. She earned a bachelor's degree in American Studies. (American Studies is a study of the nation from a variety of angles - culture, history, politics, etc.)

After college, Shriver launched her career with a job as a news writer for a TV station in Philadelphia. In less than a year, she had moved on to producing as well as writing news script for a Maryland station. She came into the national news spotlight as a reporter for the program P.M. Magazine. In 1983, she joined CBS, going from reporter to anchor person for CBS Morning News.

Shriver's marriage in 1986 turned out to be a bigger career move than it first appeared. Arnold Schwarzenegger was an actor and body builder. He was also a Republican. The Kennedys have always been strong Democrats. Some of Maria's relatives may have had doubts about having one of the "enemy" as an in-law.

"Don't think of him as a Republican," Maria joked with her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy. "Think of him as the man I love, and if that doesn't work, think of him as the man who can crush you." (Which option the Senator chose is not reported.) In any case, the journalist and the movie star were married. The wedding was a huge affair in the Kennedy family hometown of Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

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