Maribelle Sessions

Maribelle Sessions

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


Maria Shriver is a renowned American journalist, author, former First Lady of California, and philanthropist. She was born on November 6, 1955, into the prominent Kennedy family, making her a member of one of America’s most influential political dynasties. Over the years, Shriver has established herself as a prominent figure in both journalism and activism, using her platform to promote important causes such as women’s empowerment, education, and Alzheimer’s research.

Throughout her career, Maria Shriver has achieved numerous milestones and garnered widespread recognition for her work. From her early days as a broadcast journalist to her influential role as First Lady of California, she has left an indelible mark on the world of media and public service.

In this article, we will delve into 49 fascinating facts about Maria Shriver that highlight her achievements, personal life, and the significant impact she has had on American society.

Table of Contents

Early Life

Maria Shriver was born into the Kennedy family, being the daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver.


She attended the prestigious Georgetown University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies.

Journalistic Career

Maria Shriver started her career as a journalist and worked as a reporter and anchor for NBC News for many years.

Peabody Award Winner

She received a Peabody Award in 1987 for the documentary series she produced called “1986: The Year in Life”

Marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger

Maria Shriver married actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1986, and they have four children together.

First Lady of California

When Arnold Schwarzenegger became the Governor of California in 2003, Maria Shriver served as the First Lady of California.


Maria Shriver has authored several books, including “And One More Thing Before You Go…” and “I’ve Been Thinking: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations.”


Maria Shriver is actively involved in various charitable and social causes, especially those related to women’s empowerment and Alzheimer’s disease awareness.

Women’s Conference

She created the Women’s Conference, an annual event aimed at inspiring and empowering women from all walks of life.

Olympic Torchbearer

Maria Shriver had the honor of being a torchbearer for the Olympic Torch Relay during the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City.

Kennedy Family Legacy

As a member of the Kennedy family, Maria Shriver continues to carry on the legacy of public service and social activism.

Governor’s Committee on Education

During her time as the First Lady of California, Maria Shriver established the Governor’s Committee on Education to promote educational opportunities for all children.

Documentary Filmmaker

She has produced and directed numerous documentary films, including “The Alzheimer’s Project” and “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert.”

Alzheimer’s Advocacy

Maria Shriver has been a strong advocate for Alzheimer’s disease research and support, using her platform to raise awareness about this devastating condition.

Social Media Presence

She is active on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, where she shares her thoughts, updates, and insights with her followers.

Maria Shriver’s Website

She maintains an official website,, which serves as a platform for her writings, projects, and advocacy work.

Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement

Maria Shriver launched the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement to fund research and raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, which affects women disproportionately.

Best-Selling Author

Her book, “Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question, Little Book, Answer Within,” became a New York Times bestseller.

Graduation Speech

Maria Shriver delivered the commencement address at the University of Southern California (USC) in 2012, inspiring graduates with her words of wisdom.

The Shriver Report

In collaboration with the Center for American Progress, Maria Shriver released “The Shriver Report,” a series of studies on women’s status in the United States.

Impact on Childhood Poverty

She has been actively engaged in raising awareness about childhood poverty, aiming to break the cycle of poverty that affects many children.

Influential Women in Media

Maria Shriver has been recognized as one of the most influential women in media by Forbes and Time magazine.

Awards and Honors

Throughout her career, Maria Shriver has received several awards and honors for her contributions to journalism and service to the community.

Special Olympics Support

Being part of the Kennedy family, Maria Shriver has been a longtime supporter of the Special Olympics, an organization founded by her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Architectural Digest Cover

Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s former home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest magazine.

Producer of “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word”

Maria Shriver served as a producer for the documentary film “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word,” directed by Wim Wenders.

Environmental Activism

She has been actively involved in environmental causes, promoting conservation and sustainable practices.

“The Alzheimer’s Project” Emmy Award

The documentary series “The Alzheimer’s Project,” produced by Maria Shriver, received multiple Emmy Awards for its powerful portrayal of the disease.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Maria Shriver has been vocal about her support for breast cancer awareness and the importance of early detection and prevention.

Red Cross Ambassador

She has served as an ambassador for the American Red Cross, supporting their humanitarian efforts and disaster response initiatives.

Advocacy for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Maria Shriver has been an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities, aiming to promote inclusive communities and equal opportunities.

Producer of “Fed Up”

She produced the documentary film “Fed Up,” which examines the food industry’s impact on public health and the rise of obesity.

Alzheimer’s Quilt

Maria Shriver initiated the Alzheimer’s Quilt, a project that collects and displays handmade quilts as a way to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Women in STEM

She has been a strong supporter of women in STEM fields, advocating for gender equality and increased opportunities for women in science and technology.

Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation

Maria Shriver is a board member of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation, an organization dedicated to accelerating the development of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Individual Empowerment

Maria Shriver’s work emphasizes the importance of individual empowerment and personal growth, inspiring others to live fulfilling and purposeful lives.

Philanthropic Efforts

She has been actively involved in philanthropy and has donated to numerous organizations supporting various causes.

Women’s Equality

Maria Shriver has been a vocal advocate for women’s equality, fighting against gender discrimination and promoting equal opportunities for all.

Alzheimer’s Prevention

She has promoted lifestyle choices that may help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Alzheimer’s Documentary Collaboration

In collaboration with HBO, Maria Shriver produced an Emmy Award-winning documentary series called “The Alzheimer’s Project.”

Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights

She co-founded the Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, an organization dedicated to advancing social justice and human rights.

Advocacy for Social Change

Maria Shriver has used her platform to advocate for social change, addressing important issues and inspiring others to get involved.

Mother’s Legacy

As the mother of four children, Maria Shriver considers motherhood to be one of her most important roles and values the lessons she learns from her children.

Political Background

With her family’s political background, Maria Shriver has been actively engaged in politics and has supported various political campaigns.

National Science Board Member

She has served as a member of the National Science Board, contributing to the nation’s science policy and education initiatives.

Inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt

Maria Shriver has always looked up to Eleanor Roosevelt and draws inspiration from her leadership and dedication to social causes.

UN Women

She has collaborated with UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and women’s empowerment, to support their initiatives.

Author of “Ten Things I Wish I’d Known – Before I Went Out into the Real World”

Through her book “Ten Things I Wish I’d Known – Before I Went Out into the Real World,” Maria Shriver shares valuable life lessons and advice.

Continuing Advocacy

Maria Shriver continues to be an influential voice, using her platform to create positive change and empower others to make a difference.

In conclusion, Maria Shriver’s journey as a journalist, author, activist, and member of the Kennedy family has helped shape her into a prominent figure in American society. Through her philanthropy work, advocacy for women’s rights, and dedication to Alzheimer’s disease awareness, she continues to make a significant impact. Maria Shriver’s legacy serves as an inspiration to many, leaving a lasting mark for generations to come.


Through these 49 fascinating facts about Maria Shriver, we are able to catch a glimpse of her incredible life and achievements. From her illustrious family background to her impressive career as a journalist, author, and activist, Shriver has made a significant impact on society. Her dedication to advocating for women’s rights, promoting special Olympics, and raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease showcases her unwavering commitment to making a difference.

Not only has she thrived professionally, but Shriver has also overcome personal challenges, including navigating a high-profile marriage and divorce. Yet, throughout it all, she has emerged as a resilient and empowered woman who continues to inspire others.

As Maria Shriver’s journey continues to unfold, there is no doubt that she will continue to leave her mark on the world, using her platform and influence to tackle crucial issues and drive positive change.


1. What is Maria Shriver known for?

Maria Shriver is best known for her distinguished career as a journalist, author, and activist. She has also made headlines for her background as a member of the iconic Kennedy family and her marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2. What activism causes does Maria Shriver support?

Shriver has been a vocal advocate for various causes, including women’s rights, Alzheimer’s disease awareness, and promoting the Special Olympics. She has used her platform to raise awareness and drive positive change in these areas.

3. Has Maria Shriver written any books?

Yes, Maria Shriver is a successful author with several published books to her name. Some of her notable works include “Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out Into the Real World” and “I’ve Been Thinking… Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.”

4. What is Maria Shriver’s family background?

Maria Shriver comes from a prominent political family. She is the daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver, who founded the Peace Corps. She is also a niece of former President John F. Kennedy.

5. How has Maria Shriver been involved in journalism?

Shriver had a successful career as a journalist, working for NBC News for many years. She served as a correspondent and anchor, covering a wide range of topics and conducting high-profile interviews.

6. Is Maria Shriver still involved in public service?

While Shriver is no longer active in a political role, she remains committed to public service through her activism and philanthropy. She continues to use her influence to make a positive impact.