U2 frontman Bono wrote an editorial in today’s New York Times of his encounters with another sort of rock star – the late Sargent Shriver ’38 LAW ’41.
In the piece, Bono spells out how Shriver, “a diamond intelligence, too bright to keep in the darkness,” was an influential figure in his own personal fights in the realm of social activism and awareness. To Bono, Shriver was, in the Kennedy family, “in the background, but hardly in the shadows.”
Bono hearkened Shriver’s dedication to both his Catholic faith – what he describes as a bold move in the 1960s – as well as his commitment to public service.
“The Peace Corps was Jack Kennedy’s creation but embodied Sargent Shriver’s spirit. Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty but Sarge led the charge,” he wrote.
In conjunction with Shriver’s son Bobby, Bono founded three anti-poverty organizations: DATA, ONE, and (RED). Bono attributes the amount of dedication the duo put into the programs to an attempt to “live up to Sarge’s drill.”
Like many others reflecting upon Sargent Shriver’s life and legacy in the days since his passing, Bono recalls Shriver’s unadulterated commitment to excellence and hard work as the paramount success of his career, even in old age and frail health.
“I thought it a fitting final victory in a life that embodied service and transcended, so often, grave duty, that he had a certain weightlessness about him. Even then, his job nearly done, his light shone undiminished, and brightened us all,” Bono said.