Pam Shriver and Maria Shriver are both well-known names in their respective fields. Pam is a former tennis champion and a current broadcaster, while Maria is a journalist, author, and former First Lady of California. But are they related? And if so, how?
The Family Connection
The answer is yes, Pam and Maria are related, but not very closely. They are fourth cousins, which means they share a common great-great-great-grandfather. That ancestor was David Shriver, who was born in Maryland in 1776 and died in 1857. He was a prominent landowner, businessman, and politician who served in the Maryland House of Delegates and the U.S. House of Representatives.
David Shriver had 11 children, one of whom was Thomas Herbert Shriver, who was Pam’s great-great-grandfather. Another one was Thomas Wilson Shriver, who was Maria’s great-great-grandfather. Thomas Herbert Shriver’s son, Samuel Shriver, was Pam’s great-grandfather. Thomas Wilson Shriver’s son, Herbert Arthur Shriver, was Maria’s great-grandfather. Samuel Shriver’s son, Samuel Reese Shriver, was Pam’s grandfather. Herbert Arthur Shriver’s son, Robert Sargent Shriver Jr., was Maria’s father.
Pam’s grandfather, Samuel Reese Shriver, was a lawyer and a judge who served as the U.S. Attorney for Maryland from 1929 to 1933. He married Margaret Bruce Howard, who was a descendant of John Eager Howard, a Revolutionary War hero and the fifth governor of Maryland.
Maria’s father, Robert Sargent Shriver Jr., was a politician and diplomat who served as the first director of the Peace Corps, the ambassador to France, and the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1972. He married Eunice Kennedy, who was the sister of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Ted Kennedy.
The Professional Achievements
Pam and Maria have both achieved remarkable success in their careers. Pam started playing tennis at the age of nine and turned professional at 16. She reached the final of the US Open in 1978, losing to Chris Evert. She won 21 singles titles and 112 doubles titles in her career, including 22 Grand Slam titles (21 in women’s doubles and one in mixed doubles). She also won a gold medal in women’s doubles at the 1988 Seoul Olympics with Zina Garrison.
Pam formed a legendary partnership with Martina Navratilova, winning 79 doubles titles together, including eight Wimbledon titles. They are considered one of the greatest doubles teams of all time. Pam retired from tennis in 1997 and became a broadcaster for ESPN and other networks. She also serves as a coach for young players and a board member for various tennis organizations.
Maria started her journalism career at KYW-TV in Philadelphia and then joined CBS News as a co-anchor of the CBS Morning News. She moved to NBC News in 1986 and became a correspondent for Dateline NBC and an anchor for weekend editions of Today and NBC Nightly News. She also covered politics, social issues, and major events such as the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Maria left NBC News in 2004 to focus on her role as the First Lady of California after her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor. She supported various causes such as women’s empowerment, Alzheimer’s awareness, and environmental protection. She returned to NBC News in 2013 as a special anchor and contributor.
Maria has also written several best-selling books, including What’s Heaven?, And One More Thing Before You Go…, Just Who Will You Be?, I’ve Been Thinking…, and I’ve Been Thinking… The Journal. She is also the founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for research and awareness on women’s brain health.
The Surprising Truth
So there you have it: Pam Shriver and Maria Shriver are indeed related by blood, but they are not very close relatives. They are both descendants of David Shriver, who lived more than two centuries ago. They are both accomplished professionals who have made their mark in sports and media. They are both proud members of the Shriver family legacy.