She was born in Chicago, Illinois, as the first child of the politician Sargent Shriver and his wife Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Her mother is a sister of the assassinated American President John F. Kennedy.
She has been a TV news reporter for NBC's Dateline since 1989. She formerly co-anchored CBS Morning News. She has won Peabody and Emmy awards and is the author of two best-selling books: What's Heaven and Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out Into The Real World.
Shriver married the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger on April 26, 1986. They have two daughters and two sons.
On her husband's election as the 38th Governor of California, she became the First Lady of California on November 17, 2003.