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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Statement by Congresswoman Waters on Passing of Ambassador Sargent Shriver

January 18, 2011
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) issued the following statement today after Ambassador Sargent Shriver passed away:

"I am very saddened to learn of the passing of Ambassador Sargent Shriver, and I extend my condolences to his family and his friends, including his daughter, former California First Lady Maria Shriver.

"Ambassador Shriver was well known for his humanitarian and diplomatic work, serving as the first director of the Peace Corps and later as the top U.S. envoy to France. I remember him most fondly, however, for his role as the director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, which designed and implemented the Head Start Program in the mid-1960s. I had the good fortune to become an associate teacher with the program, and I can unequivocally say that Head Start changed my life and turned it in a new direction.

"Head Start encouraged me to finish my education; taught me the importance and value of community organizing; made me acutely aware of the many issues facing our young children; and inspired me to get involved in politics to make a difference in the lives of others, particularly the least of these.

"So I want to thank Ambassador Shriver for his dedication to our country and his work to promote the educational and economic empowerment of people in the United States and around the world. May he rest in peace.

"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time."

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