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 George Stanley McGovern

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George Stanley McGovern

  • Birth 19 Jul 1922 Avon, Bon Homme County, South Dakota, USA
  • Death 21 Oct 2012 Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota, USA
  • Burial Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
  • Plot Section O, Lot 449
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 99300470

US Senator, US Congressman, US Presidential Candidate, Author. During his lengthy career in public service, he will probably be best remembered for his unsuccessful bid as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States against the incumbent Richard Nixon in 1972. The son of a Methodist minister, he was an exceptional student who relished debating and it would be this attribute which earned him a scholarship to Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota. Following the United States' entry into World War II, he enlisted with the United States Army Air Corps as a bomber pilot of a B-24 and flew roughly 35 combat missions which earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross. Upon returning home, he received his Master of Arts degree and PhD in American History and Government from Northwestern University, prior to his return to Dakota Wesleyan where he served as a professor of History and Political Science. His interests in the Democratic Party led to his political career and he was elected to and served South Dakota's 1st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961. After losing his bid for reelection, President John F. Kennedy appointed McGovern director of the Food for Peace Program in 1961. He remained at that capacity until his election to the United States Senate (1963 to 1981). During his tenure, the liberal senator from South Dakota served on the Agriculture, Nutrition, Forestry and Foreign Relations Committees, in addition to the Joint Economics Committee. He was known as an opposing voice of the Vietnam War, which was the platform for his presidential candidacy in 1972. After securing the nomination for the Democratic Party, his campaign suffered a setback when it was revealed that his chosen running mate Senator Thomas Eagleton suffered from bouts of depression which resulted in shock-therapy treatment. Ultimately, this led to his withdrawal and his being replaced on the ticket by Sargent Shriver. During the course of the 1972 election the infamous break-in at the Watergate Democratic Headquarters occurred which was the catalyst for the "Watergate Scandal". President Richard Nixon won reelection by a landslide, however over the next two years when details of the break-in which was orchestrated by members within the administration emerged, this would lead to the president's downfall. After leaving the Senate, McGovern remained active as a lecturer and continued champion to end world hunger. He also penned numerous books. In 2000, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton and was appointed United Nations Global Ambassador in 2001. He died in a hospice care facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 90.

Bio by: C.S.

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Edward Johnson
  • Added: 21 Oct 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 99300470
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Stanley McGovern (19 Jul 1922–21 Oct 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 99300470, citing Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .