Former US Senator & 1972 Democrat Presidential Candidate George McGovern Dies at Age 90, Rest in Peace
George McGovern, the former Democrat presidential candidate and South Dakota Senator has died at age 90 in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota hospice surrounded by family and friends. McGovern was a U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961, a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981, a Democrat President candidate in 1972 and a the face of his party’s liberal wing.
George McGovern, 1922 – 2012: Rest in Peace
Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern died at a hospice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Sunday, at the age of 90.
McGovern’s family announced his passing in a statement, first reported by the Associated Press.
McGovern represented South Dakota’s first district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961, and was a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981, where he was a champion of his party’s liberal wing.
McGovern was the Democratic presidential candidate in the 1972 election, losing in a landslide to then-president Richard Nixon.
LA Times Obit: Liberal standard-bearer against Nixon in ’72, dies
Democrat George S. McGovern, a war hero who opposed the Vietnam War, was crushed by President Richard Nixon’s Watergate-tainted campaign. A die-hard idealist, McGovern inspired scores of budding politicians.
George McGovern was born July 19, 1922, in a parsonage in Avon, S.D., and grew up in Mitchell. His father was a fundamentalist Methodist minister and a political conservative.
McGovern enrolled at Dakota Wesleyan University and married classmate Eleanor Stegeberg on Oct. 21, 1943. But within months, he left to fly a B-24 in World War II. On his bunk, he read philosophy and history. The books broadened him, and he came home, he said, wanting to know more about “the nature and destiny of man, about the adequacy of our contemporary value system and the capacity of our institutions to nurture those values.”
He also returned a hero. On one of 35 missions against Nazi targets in Europe, he took hits that blew out most of the nose of the plane and wounded a gunner. Shrapnel cut the hydraulic brake and electrical lines. He ordered his crew to crank down the landing gear and tie parachutes to girders just inside the rear hatches. He landed and released the parachutes. Not a life was lost. McGovern was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.