How is Pam Shriver related to the Kennedys? A look at the tennis star’s family ties

Pam Shriver is a former professional tennis player who won 133 titles, including 22 major ones, in her illustrious career. She is also a cousin of Maria Shriver, the former First Lady of California and a member of the Kennedy family. But how exactly is Pam Shriver related to the Kennedys, and what is her family history? Here is a brief overview of the tennis star’s family ties.

The Shriver connection

Pam Shriver was born on July 4, 1962, in Baltimore, Maryland, to Sam and Margot Shriver. Her father was a stockbroker and a descendant of David Shriver, who signed Maryland’s Constitution and Bill of Rights at the state’s Constitutional Convention of 1776. Her mother was an Australian-born socialite and philanthropist who supported various causes, such as education and mental health.

Pam Shriver’s paternal uncle was Sargent Shriver, a politician and activist who married Eunice Kennedy, the sister of President John F. Kennedy, in 1953. Sargent Shriver served as the first director of the Peace Corps, the ambassador to France, and the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1972. Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the founder of the Special Olympics and a champion for people with intellectual disabilities.

Pam Shriver’s father and uncle were both diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in their later years. Pam Shriver has been an advocate for Alzheimer’s research and awareness, as well as a supporter of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, founded by her cousin Maria Shriver.

The Kennedy connection

Pam Shriver is a fourth cousin of Maria Shriver, who was born on November 6, 1955, in Chicago, Illinois, to Sargent and Eunice Shriver. Maria Shriver is an award-winning journalist, author, and former First Lady of California. She married Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor and former governor of California, in 1986. They have four children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick, and Christopher. They separated in 2011 and finalized their divorce in 2021.

Maria Shriver is also a niece of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Ted Kennedy, who were all prominent figures in American politics and history. John F. Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Robert F. Kennedy was the attorney general under his brother’s administration and a senator from New York until his assassination in 1968. Ted Kennedy was a senator from Massachusetts for almost 47 years until his death in 2009.

Maria Shriver has written several books about her family legacy and her personal journey, such as What’s Heaven?, Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into the Real World, And One More Thing Before You Go…, Just Who Will You Be?, I’ve Been Thinking…, and The Gift of Forgiveness.

The tennis connection

Pam Shriver started playing tennis at the age of nine and turned professional at the age of 16. She reached her first Grand Slam final at the 1978 US Open, where she lost to Chris Evert. She won her first Grand Slam title at the 1981 Wimbledon, where she partnered with Martina Navratilova to win the women’s doubles. She went on to win 20 more Grand Slam doubles titles with Navratilova, including a calendar year Grand Slam in 1984. She also won one Grand Slam mixed doubles title with Emilio Sanchez at the 1987 French Open.

Pam Shriver was ranked as high as No. 3 in singles and No. 1 in doubles in her career. She also won an Olympic gold medal in women’s doubles with Zina Garrison at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She retired from professional tennis in 1997 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2002.

Pam Shriver has been a tennis commentator and analyst for various networks since her retirement. She has also been involved in charitable work through her foundation, which supports children’s causes. She has three children: George Jr., Kate, and Sam, from her marriage to George Lazenby, the actor who played James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. They divorced in 2008.


Pam Shriver is a tennis legend who has a remarkable family history that connects her to the Shrivers and the Kennedys. She is a cousin of Maria Shriver, who is a niece of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Ted Kennedy. She is also a descendant of David Shriver, who signed Maryland’s Constitution and Bill of Rights in 1776. She has been a successful athlete, broadcaster, philanthropist, and mother throughout her life.

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