Maria Shriver is an American journalist, author, and activist best known as former First Lady of California when her actor-husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger served as governor for two terms (between 2003 and 2011). As the first lady, Shriver implemented notable reforms and projects including The Alzheimer’s Project and The Shriver Report. But that’s not all.
Beginning from 2000, she has authored seven best-selling books and has earned two Emmy Awards and an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences award for developing a “television show with a conscience”. In addition, she is also a recipient of the prestigious Peabody awards for her telejournalism. But more than that, Maria Shriver is a proud mother of four adult children. Although currently divorced from her husband, she continues to work as a TV host. This post tells you more about her bio, kids, net worth, and the events leading to her divorce in September of 2011.
Maria Shriver’s Age and Early Life
Maria Shriver was born—Maria Owings Shriver—in Chicago, Illinois, on November 6, 1955, to US politician, Sargent Shriver, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Her mother, Eunice also worked as an activist. As a second child and only daughter of the family, Shriver is a niece of former US President John F. Kennedy; U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy; U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, and other prominent siblings. She was brought up in a conservative Roman Catholic setting. Growing up, Shriver attended Westland Middle School in Bethesda, Maryland. And later attended Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda where she graduated from in 1973. She then proceeded to Manhattanville College where she spent two years; and was later transferred to Georgetown University Washington, D.C., where she acquired a Bachelor of Arts degree in American studies in June 1977.
Shriver’s flair for broadcast journalism got ignited after she was sent to the back of the campaign plane with the press corps while volunteering for her father’s 1972 U.S. Vice Presidential race. She was just 22 at the time. Her professional career began with Philadelphia-based KYW-TV. She would later co-anchor The CBS Morning News with Forrest Sawyer for one year from August 1985 until August 1986. The following year, she began co-anchoring NBC News’s Sunday Today; a role she held for three years. From 1992 to 2004, Shriver worked as a contributing anchor on Dateline NBC. And in August of 2003, she took an unpaid leave of absence from NBC News to go support her husband’s candidacy in the 2003 California gubernatorial elections.
Shortly after her husband was sworn in as 38th Governor of California, Shriver asked to be “relieved of her duties at NBC News,” over the conflict of interest between her role as a journalist and her status as the First Lady of California. Coupled with her increasing role as an advocate of her husband’s administration.
In the years that followed, Shriver’s role in her husband’s administration would include several key initiatives such as the WE Connect Program launched in 2005, the program connects working families in need with money-saving programs and support services. In 2008, Maria Shriver again launched the WE Invest Program. It provides training, mentoring, support networks, microloans, and other resources to help women launch or grow their businesses. In May of the following year, she planted the first edible garden at a state capitol in what was just a flower bed. The food grown in the garden is disseminated to local food banks across the state. She also instituted The Minerva Awards to honor and reward “remarkable California women” who have improved their communities, state, and country. After her tenure as the first lady, Maria Shriver became instrumental in the publishing of what has become known as “The Shriver Report”.
First published in 2003, the report was conducted in partnership with the Center for American Progress, USC’s Annenberg Center on Communication, Leadership and Policy, and the Rockefeller Foundation. It revealed that American women, make up half of the United States workforce and how that fact is impacting family, business, government and faith organizations. The Series-like report was published in 2010 and 2014, each focusing on Alzheimer’s disease and women and their children in poverty, respectively.
Asides that, Maria Shriver is an author to at least seven books. Some of which include; Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into The Real World (2000), What’s Wrong With Timmy? (2001), What’s Happening to Grandpa? (2004) And One More Thing Before You Go… (2005), What’s Heaven? (2007), and ‘Just Who Will You Be? Big Question, Little Book, Answer Within (2008), and I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life (2018).
Awards and Recognitions
And all of these efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Maria Shriver is a humble recipient of two Emmy Awards and an Academy of Television Arts & Sciences award as executive producer of ‘The Alzheimer’s Project’. In 2009, the Shinnyo-en Foundation awarded her the Pathfinders to Peace Award. And Shriver has a plant named after her in October 2004, The Maria Shriver Rose which is known to contain starchy-white blooms and a powerful citrus fragrance.
In April 2013, two years after stepping down, the NBC announced that Shriver would again join the network as a special anchor working on issues concerning the changing roles of women in American life. In October of that years, she returned to the anchor desk on Today.
With countless hours of on-screen time under her belt and tones of businesses that have grown in value, coupled with her divorce settlement back in 2011, Maria Shriver’s net worth is estimated to be around $100 million. However, we have no details as to her actual annual salary earnings.
How She Met, Married, and Divorced Her Husband – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger first met through a mutual friend, Tom Brokaw, in 1977; at a charity tennis tournament held at her mother’s home. Maria would go on to date the Austrian bodybuilder for ten years until their wedding on April 26, 1986. The ceremony was held at St. Frances Xavier Roman Catholic Church, Hyannis, Massachusetts. Together they have four children; Katherine (b. December 13, 1989), Christina (b. July 23, 1991), Patrick (b. September 18, 1993), and Christopher (b. September 27, 1997).
After their separation in May 2011, Shriver filed for divorce on July 1, 2011, citing irreconcilable differences. However, we know that the reasons for their divorce was linked to Schwarzenegger’s infidelity; fathering a child with a longtime member of their household staff, Mildred Patricia Baena in 1997. An incident he admitted to only when Shriver confronted him. Describing the realization as “painful and heartbreaking,” she has not commented on the issue ever since. As of this writing, Maria Shriver is in a relationship with political consultant Matthew Dowd, who served as the strategist for her husband’s 2006 reelection campaign.
Maria Shriver’s Height and Body Measurement
For a woman her age, Shriver still maintains a graceful slim build. She stands 5 feet 5 inches (1.66 meters) tall and weighs 57kg. Her bust, waist and hips measure 34-25-35 inches. also, she has dark brown hair and blue eyes. She wears a dress size and shoe size of 4(US) and 8(US) respectively.