|Maria Shriver Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 5.5 in|
|Date of Birth||November 6, 1955|
Maria Shriver is a well-known journalist who was born in a high profile political family of the Kennedy-Shriver clan. As the former First Lady of California, author, activist, and entrepreneur, she has worked for several social causes. The initiative closest to her heart is the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement that she found in 2011 after losing her father to the degenerative disease in the same year. She actively promotes the prevention of cognitive decline that may start as early as the age of 30 or even sooner. In 2017, she released a coloring book for Alzheimer’s patients called Color Your Mind.
Maria Owings Shriver
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Maria studied at Westland Middle School in a suburb of Washington, D.C. called Bethesda, Maryland. Then, she acquired her high school diploma in 1973 from a prestigious private girls’ school named Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart.
After that, Maria enrolled at Manhattanville College for a duration of 2 years and eventually transferred to Georgetown University to get a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies in 1977.
She started her journalism career in the same year by working as a news-writer and producer for a subsidiary of CBS network, KYW-TV, based in Philadelphia.
Journalist (Anchor & Correspondent), Author, Producer, Former First Lady of California, Activist, Entrepreneur (Founder of Shriver Media in 2014 & Move for Minds non-profit organization in 2016)
- Father – Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. aka Sargent Shriver (1915-2011) (Lawyer, American Diplomat, Politician, Activist, Founding Director of Peace Corps, Recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom)
- Mother – Eunice Mary Kennedy Shriver (1921-2009) (Activist, Founder of Special Olympics)
- Siblings –
- Robert Sargent Shriver III aka Bobby Shriver (1.5 years older brother) (Attorney, Entrepreneur, Former Mayor of Santa Monica)
- Timothy Perry Shriver (4 years younger brother) (Teacher, Executive Producer, Chairman of the Special Olympics)
- Mark Kennedy Shriver (9 years younger brother) (American Democratic Politician)
- Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver (10 years younger brother) (Founder and Chairman of a non-profit organization called Best Buddies International)
- Robert Sargent Shriver Sr. (Paternal Grandfather)
- Hilda Shriver (Paternal Grandmother)
- Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr. (Maternal Grandfather) (Businessman, Politician, Former U.S. Ambassador to the UK)
- Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy (Maternal Grandmother) (Philanthropist & Matriarch of the Kennedy family)
- Thomas Herbert Shriver (Paternal Uncle)
- Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. (Maternal Uncle) (U.S. Navy Lieutenant & Aviator who was killed in World War II)
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy aka JFK (Maternal Uncle) (35th President of the United States)
- Rose Marie Kennedy (Maternal Aunt)
- Kathleen Agnes Cavendish aka Kick Kennedy also Marchioness of Hartington (Maternal Aunt)
- Patricia Helen Kennedy Lawford aka Pat (Maternal Aunt)
- Robert Francis Kennedy aka Bobby (Maternal Uncle) (Former U.S. Attorney General & U.S. Senator from New York)
- Jean Ann Kennedy Smith (Maternal Aunt) (American Diplomat, Former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland)
- Edward Moore Kennedy aka Ted (Maternal Uncle) (Former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts)
- Caroline Bouvier Kennedy (Cousin, JFK’s Daughter) (Attorney, Writer, Editor, Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan)
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. aka JFK Jr. aka John John (Cousin) (Lawyer, Journalist, Magazine Publisher)
- Christopher Kennedy Lawford aka Chris (Cousin, son of actor Peter Lawford & Pat Kennedy) (Author, Actor, Activist)
- Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend (Cousin) (6th Lieutenant Governor of Maryland)
- Joseph Patrick Kennedy II (Cousin) (Businessman, Politician)
- Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. (Cousin) (Environmental Attorney, Author, Activist)
- Mary Courtney Kennedy-Hill (Cousin) (Former representative of UN Aids Foundation)
- Michael LeMoyne Kennedy (Cousin) (Lawyer, Activist)
- Mary Kerry Kennedy (Cousin) (Human Rights Activist)
- Christopher George Kennedy (Cousin) (Businessman, Politician)
- Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy aka Max (Cousin) (Best-selling Author)
- Douglas Harriman Kennedy (Cousin) (Reporter, Correspondent)
- Rory Elizabeth Katherine Kennedy (Cousin) (Documentary Film-maker)
- Stephen Edward Smith, Jr. (Cousin)
- William Kennedy Smith (Cousin) (Physician)
- Amanda Mary Smith (Cousin)
- Kym Maria Smith (Cousin)
- Kara Anne Kennedy Allen (Cousin) (Film-maker, Television Producer)
- Edward Moore Kennedy Jr. (Cousin) (Lawyer & Politician based in NYC)
- Patrick Joseph Kennedy II (Cousin) (Politician, Mental Health Advocate)
- Jon Liebman, Brillstein Entertainment Partners
- Molly Cotter, The Harry Walker Agency
5 ft 5.5 in or 166 cm
59 kg or 130 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Maria Shriver has dated –
- Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (1977-2011) – In 1977, TV newsman, Tom Brokaw, introduced Maria to Arnold Schwarzenegger at a party the night before the 6th annual Robert F. Kennedy Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament in Forest Hills Stadium in NYC. Arnold was one of the participating celebrity tennis players. The two started dating soon after they met but at that time Arnold was also in an open relationship with a hairstylist, Sue Moray.
Arnold and Maria dated for nearly a decade during which their long-distance bi-coastal relationship evolved into a live-in arrangement by the mid-1980s. However, the media later found out that Arnold had another affair with his co-star, Brigitte Nielsen while filming Red Sonja in 1985 but he ended his liaison once the promotions for the film were over.
Maria and Arnold got married in April 1986 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Hyannis, Massachusetts in a large ceremony attended by 500 guests. Caroline Kennedy was the maid of honor while former Mr. Universe Franco Columbu was the best man. Together, the couple has 4 children – daughter Katherine Eunice Schwarzenegger (born December 1989), daughter Christina Maria Aurelia Schwarzenegger (born July 1991), son Patrick Arnold Schwarzenegger (born September 1993), and son Christopher Sargent Shriver Schwarzenegger (born September 1997).
In his autobiography published in 2012, Arnold confessed that he first got physically intimate with his housekeeper, named Mildred Patricia Baena aka Patty, in 1996 in the family guest house while Maria and the kids were away on a vacation. Arnold was in town filming Batman and Robin (1997). The affair possibly continued for nearly 2 decades which also led to the birth of another son fathered by Arnold named Joseph Baena.
Unaware of the affair, Maria continued to defend her husband against the allegations of infidelity and sexual harassment, particularly, since 2003, when Arnold first ran for the office of the Governor of California.
However, Joseph’s resemblance to Arnold was uncanny. A day after the actor finished his 2nd term as Governor in January 2011, Maria confronted Arnold during a couples therapy session and he was compelled to come clean. Their housekeeper was fired immediately with a severance package while Maria filed for divorce. As years passed, their divorce never got finalized and neither of the two showed any interest in legalizing their separation. Their children grew up and they got their assets split in half. In December 2021, it was revealed that their divorce had been finalized.
- Matthew Dowd (2013-2016) – In the second half of 2013, Maria went public with her relationship with the political consultant, Matthew Dowd, who had a history of two divorces. Dowd was the strategist for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign in 2006. The New York Post reported that Maria and Matthew first developed camaraderie during Arnold’s active political career and possibly had an affair from 2006 to 2007. While Maria’s representatives refused to issue any comments, Dowd claimed that the two were merely good friends when Maria was still married to Arnold. By 2016, Maria and Dowd’s relationship ran its course and in 2017, the journalist announced that she was single.
Race / Ethnicity
Her paternal ancestry is predominantly Irish and German with a distant relation to Scottish, English, Dutch, and French Huguenot lineage while she has Irish roots on her mother’s side.
- Angular face with a sharp chin and high cheekbones
- Deep-set hooded eyes
- Thick luscious locks often with blonde highlights
- Ford Motor Company collaborated with Maria to launch a social media campaign in 2018, alongside her Architects of Change conversation series, with noted celebrities.
- She collaborated with Equinox fitness clubs to create a Move for Minds fitness event in 2016. The activities focused on a healthy mind and body connection.
- The Marriot hotel chain created a campaign with Maria which was called ‘The Envelope Please’ which focused on encouraging the visitors to tip the maids.
- Proctor & Gamble /P&G created a 4-minute interview style advertisement with Maria Shriver for their Mother’s day campaign in 2013.
- She launched an ice-cream brand, Lovin’ Scoopful, in partnership with her brother Tim Shriver in 2008. They contribute 25% of the profit to the Special Olympics.
Best Known For
- Working as an anchor for NBC News
- Being related to a politically high-profile family of Kennedy’s on the maternal side (Former President JFK was her mother’s older brother)
- Being the former First Lady of California who later got separated from the veteran bodybuilder, action movie star, and politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger
She made her theatrical film debut with a fleeting appearance as herself in the fantasy action-comedy, Last Action Hero, in 1993.
First TV Show
Shriver made her first TV show appearance in the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather in 1983.
- Maria indulges in high-intensity interval training as often as she can at her age but alternates intense workout routines with Yoga classes and long walks.
- The journalist gives equal importance to sound sleep and 15-20 minutes of morning meditation to maintain a balance between exertion and recovery.
- She has admitted to having a sweet tooth but she also makes a conscious effort to limit refined sugar and processed carbohydrates in her diet.
- Maria usually subscribes to a Mediterranean diet with a focus on plant-based meals.
- She has repeatedly shared in her interviews that brain games to promote cognitive health and staying socially connected with friends and family is also an essential requirement to age gracefully.
- In August 2018, Maria went through a ‘Spiritual Cleanse’ by giving up the use of electronic devices. She made an effort to get comfortable with her solitude and only spared her time to meet her children and friends in person. After a month-long detox, Maria found herself wasting lesser time on casual browsing which also cured her itch to keep track of other people online.
Maria Shriver Favorite Things
- Color – Purple
- Holiday – Thanksgiving
- Day Of The Week – Sunday
- Inspirational Book – Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Gift From the Sea (1955)
- Spiritual Teachers – Life coach Martha Beck and Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön
- Brunch Order – Pancakes
- Venue For Long Walks – Pacific beach in San Diego, California or Hyannis Port along the Cape in Massachusetts
- Songs – Rise Up by Andra Day, By Thy Grace by Snatam Kaur
- Guilty Pleasure – Sugar Cookies
- Dream Interview – The Pope
- Quote – “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Restaurant – Joe’s Stone Crab seafood eating joint in Miami, Florida
- Gym – Equinox
Maria Shriver Facts
- She was the first person in her family to pursue a career in journalism.
- Her interest in Broadcast Journalism developed while interacting with media professionals during her father’s Vice-Presidency campaign in 1972.
- She has been a close friend of Oprah Winfrey for more than 4 decades. They first met in the office bathroom of WJZ-TV in Baltimore as colleagues in 1978.
- Maria has shared in an interview that she has always been a very curious and restless person and journalism, as a profession, fulfilled this part of her temperament.
- Born and raised in a family of Democrats, Maria married Arnold Schwarzenegger who was a staunch Republican.
- In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Maria revealed that the Kennedy-Shriver family was extremely close-knit but also had a constantly driven and competitive environment. Her parents never took time off to relax. Their trips abroad were working vacations to interact with International dignitaries that entailed discourses with specific agendas.
- It was not until Maria approached the age of 50 that she learned the importance of slowing down and enjoying life. For 25 years, she was a workaholic journalist trying to establish a different identity from the Kennedy legacy only to lose her job with NBC network at the age of 48 because her husband became the Governor of California and she became the First Lady by default.
- As an author, Maria has penned 7 books from 2000 to 2018.
- The cover photo of her 2018 book, I’ve Been Thinking…, that has a picture of the back of her head and shoulders, was clicked by her son Patrick on his iPhone.
- She is one of the members of the International Board of Special Olympics.
- In May 2009, Maria worked as an executive producer for a 4-part documentary series for HBO called The Alzheimer’s Project that won 2 Emmy awards and a Television Academy Award.
- As a lifelong advocate for people with Intellectual Disabilities, Maria has raised millions of dollars through many initiatives and events.
- She won a Peabody Award in 1998 as a Dateline NBC Correspondent covering the benefit of welfare reform for four single mothers through their media report called Checks and Balances.
- In October 2004, a hybrid rose was named after Maria Shriver that has a starchy white bloom with a citrus fragrance.
- In 2020, on her 65th birthday, she received a cake with Lenny Kravitz‘s abs on it from her children.
- To find out more about the award-winning journalist, visit her official website @ mariashriver.com.
Featured Image by Gage Skidmore / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0