Page 38 article text (OCR)
J^stmiJy Ji^oMcIy/ July i, 1965 Sargent Shriver: Fireworks in a Gray He's an Ivy League aristocrat married to a Kennedy—but he drives himself Uke a boy fighting his way out of the slimis; here's what makes Sarge run S ARGENT SHRIVER, head of the Peace CJorps and Poverty Corps, recently returned to Canterbury, his old preparatory school in New Milford, Conn. I went along to cover his speech and talk to some of the teachers of his youth. As we strolled under the lovely old trees lininsr Canterbury's walks, Shriver renuirked that he would like to see his old room. I couldn't help but comment that his wish was certainly a sentimental one, and people back in Washington didn't usually think of him as such. Shriver frowned: "It's an excess I have to control. I can't permit myself to be as sentimental as I really am. It might interfere with the way I think and the way I work." In tiiese words, he summed up an attitude that has shaped his life and made him one of the busiest and most important officials in Washington. A holdover from th$ Kennedy administration, Shriver was personally chosen by President Johnson to run the incredibly complex Poverty Corps program. The reason was simple. Shriver, now 49, has tackled every job in his life like a bulldozer plowing up a mountain. He is relentless; he gets jobs done. His daily schedule is one that makes even hard-working Lyndon Johnson blink. He sleeps only three or four hours a night. By 5:30 a.m., he is on the phone calling sleepy members of his staff, driving them as hard as he drives himself. He is in the oflSce promptly at 9 a.m. and often has lunch at his desk. Although Shriv«r is without cabinet status, he sits in on cabinet meetings. And although he has never held elective oflSce, he has so impressed Congressmen with his efficiency as an administrator that, despite their tendency to haggle over foreign-aid funds, they have given the Peace Corps all the money it needs. "The secret of Shriver's success," says Harris Wofford, associate director of the Peace Corps, "is that he's a man of ideas and of great practicality." A motto in Shriver's office reads: "Nice guys don't win ball games." He told me: "I put that up when we started the Peace Corps. I didn't want the Corps thought of as some kind of sweet, tutti-frutti government agency." Shriver's hunger for new jobs and goals is part of his inheritance. Members of his family pioneered in settling Maryland. His father was involved in state affairs as a vigorous champion of social causes. Even as a child, Sarge (as friends call him) seemed to realize that hard work was part of the family tradition. He frequently cautioned his nurse to remind him to come in from play to study! A group of Peace Corps Volunteere meet their boss, Sargent Shriver. His father was a banker, and Sarge grew up in a house graced with servants, a chauffeured limousine, and other trappings of affluence. But the Depression of 1929 wiped out the incomes of both his parents. The family's style of life changed drastically—and this no doubt had a profound effect on young Sarge. The family never made a finan cial comeback. And although they managed to pay Sarge's way through Canterbury, there were not enough funds to send him to college. So he went through both Yale University and Yale Law School on scholarships. At Yale, Sarge had a heavy schedule—and thrived on it. He worked in the college library. He edited Yale's daily newspaper. He was chairman of the Junior Prom committee, a busy member of the prestigious Scroll and Key fraternity, and a familiar figure at elite debutante balls. "He was a ladies' man," his brother Herbert recalls. He had so many girls in those days that his family was worried that he might marry before graduation. After law school, Sarge worked for a while with a New York law firm. Then came World War II. He volunteered for the Navy and saw action in the Pacific. Peace took him back to New York and law, but he soon decided that he was not deeply interested in having a legal practice. "I don't just want to make money," he told his mother. "I want to do something for people." Not quite • certain of how to achieve this goal, he tried his hand at journalism. It was his job as an assistant editor of Newtweek that led him to his connection with the Kennedy family. At that time, Joseph P. Kennedy was seeking advice about whether his son Joe's war diaries would make a good book. His daughter Eunice suggested Shriver as the right man to evaluate the diaries. She had met him at a cocktail party—-and had been impressed. Sarge studied the diaries. Then he bluntly told Kennedy that they would not make a very good book. The matter of the diaries disposed of, Kennedy asked Shriver a question that changed the course of his life: "How would you like to work for me?" COVER: Here's one sure way to have a glorious Fourth of July. Spend the day aboard a powerboat, sunning yourself on the deck and swimming in the inviting ivater. Family "W ^^iciy rhm fUwapapt MagoilM IIONARO S. OAVIOOW PreHdent Pt$bV»ktr WAirn C. MEYHM AuoeUU PMiaher PATIICK i. OlOMKf Bxeeutive ViM Prmiitmt mnd Advertiting Dirtetor WIlllAM V. MUSSiY Aivtrtitino MmM0«r MORTON FRANK Vte< Pr-iient. PMitker RtlatUm* Advwtiiiog omcK 179 N. MkM«an Avw., Chkage, III. M601 Editorial offlMt 405 folk Av*., Nmr Vorii, N.Y. 10022 •utiiMtt oKiMi 1727 S. Indiana Av«., Chkoge, III. M616 Jvily i, 1985 ROSm nnOliSON Sditor-lm^httf UM KARTMIAN EMenU9» BiU»r AROfN EIDHl Mmmmgimg Editor miUf DVKITRA Art Diraetor MitANIE Oi MOn Food Editor RoMly* AbKMoya, lob GoiiiM, Hal london. JockRyan. Paul Snowi HOT i. Qpfwnlwlnwr, Hollywea (ir ® l«*5. MOCHSINO AND •OOKS, INC.. CMeaga, III. All ri«Mf tmormd.