The Daily Beast

Sargent Shriver’s son Mark talks to Lloyd Grove about his family, the Kennedy clan, his new memoir of his dad, and what it’s like to care for an aging parent as he slips away.
It’s hardly news that the Kennedy family has paid an unreasonably high price—in lives lost and broken, grave illnesses, a criminal trial, and various scandals, all suffered in public—for the advantages of being rich, good-looking, and politically powerful.

Yet one branch, the Shrivers, has been mercifully excluded from the so-called Kennedy Curse.
Sargent Shriver, happily married for 56 years to Eunice, a younger sister of President Kennedy, lived a fabulously eventful and rewarding life until he was 95, only the last small slice of it hobbled by Alzheimer’s. Eunice Kennedy Shriver made it all the way to 88, productive and sharp till the end. Their five children all made their mark, started families of their own, and continue to enjoy personal and career successes.
“My father called us ‘The Lucky Seven,’ and we had a 24-foot motorboat by that name,” says Mark Shriver, the fourth child. “He used to say, ‘I’m the luckiest sonovabitch ever. I love my wife. I got five healthy kids.’ Growing up, I thought, God, he’s just crazy. But as I got older, I thought, he’s absolutely right. The only thing I would change is that it’s not lucky, it’s blessed.”
Shriver, 48, holds forth in an otherwise empty hotel bar, nursing a vodka tonic (from which he takes three sips and then pours the rest into my glass: “I have to give a speech tonight,” he sheepishly explains). Tall, slim, and well-tailored, this abstemious father of three—who’s getting ready to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks—bears little resemblance to the chubby, rambunctious 11-year-old I met in 1975, when I was volunteering in his dad’s long-shot presidential campaign.
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