Peace Corps in Burkina Faso
About the Peace Corps
Father of the Peace Corps
R. Sargent Shriver, Jr.
Founding Director of the Peace Corps
Appointed by: President John F. Kennedy
Served from: March 22, 1961 - February 28, 1966
On March 1, 1961, President Kennedy signed an Executive Order establishing the Peace Corps. Three days later, Sargent Shriver became its first director. Deployment was rapid: Volunteers arrived in five countries during 1961. In just under six years, Shriver developed programs in 55 countries with more than 14,500 Volunteers.
"Nearly everybody in their life needs someone to help them. I don't care whether you're the greatest self-made man; the fact is, somebody has helped you along the way."
-- Sargent Shriver
- Read Sargent Shriver's speech at the 40th Anniversary of the Peace Corps Vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on September 22, 2001.