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  McGovern, George S.
CANDIDATE DETAILS
AffiliationDemocratic  
<-  2006-07-24  
 
NameGeorge S. McGovern
Address
Mitchell, South Dakota , United States
EmailNone
Website [Link]
Born July 19, 1922
DiedOctober 21, 2012 (90 years)
ContributorPicimpalious
Last ModifedRBH
Oct 26, 2017 03:24am
Tags Caucasian - Liberal - Anti Marijuana Legalization - Anti-Death Penalty - Pro Environment - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gun control - Married - U.S. Army - Freemason - Christian - Protestant - Straight -
InfoGeorge Stanley McGovern, Ph.D

George McGovern was born in Avon, South Dakota and lived in nearby Mitchell. The son of a minister, he graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University.

McGovern married Eleanor Stegeberg of Woonsocket on October 31, 1943. The two had met during a high school debate in which Eleanor and her sister Ila defeated McGovern and his partner.

He volunteered for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and served as a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot in the Fifteenth Air Force, flying 35 missions over enemy territory from bases in North Africa and later Italy, often against heavy anti-aircraft artillery. McGovern was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving his crew by crash landing his damaged bomber on a small Mediterranean island.

On return from the war, McGovern earned a divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and briefly tried his hand as a Methodist minister. Dissatisfied, he earned a PhD in history from Northwestern University and became a professor at his alma mater, Dakota Wesleyan University.

Although he was raised by two Republican parents, he chose not to join any party until the 1948 presidential election, when he registered as an Independent and joined the newly-formed Progressive Party. During the campaign, he attended the party's first national convention as a delegate and volunteered for the campaign of its presidential nominee, former Vice President Henry A. Wallace.

In 1952, he heard a radio broadcast of Adlai Stevenson's speech accepting the Democratic Party presidential nomination. He immediately registered as a Democrat, then volunteered for Stevenson's campaign the following day. Although Stevenson lost that election, McGovern remained active in Democratic politics. In 1956, he ran for and won a seat in the House of Representatives.

After two terms in the House, he unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in 1960, losing to Republican incumbent Karl Mundt 52–48%. The election loss made him available for appointment as the first director of President John F. Kennedy's Food for Peace program. In 1962, he stood for election to South Dakota's other Senate seat and won, serving his first of three Senate terms.

Although he voted in favor of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, McGovern later became a strong critic of defense spending, and was an early and vocal opponent of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, often criticizing the policies of President Lyndon Johnson.

McGovern was outspoken in his criticism of the Senate's "war hawks". During Senate floor debate in September 1970, he assailed his colleagues for not supporting an amendment that he had co-sponsored with Senator Mark Hatfield (R-Oregon) calling for a complete withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, McGovern stood as the anti-war flagbearer for some of the supporters of Sen. Robert Kennedy, who had been assassinated two months earlier while running for the nomination. Despite strong anti-war sentiment, McGovern lost the Presidential nomination to establishment candidate Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

During the convention, a motion was passed to establish a commission to reform the Democratic Party nomination process. In 1969, McGovern was named chairman of this Reform Commission. The commission significantly reduced the role of party officials and insiders in the nomination process, increased the role of caucuses and primaries, and mandated quotas for proportional black, women, and youth delegate representation.

McGovern again ran for President in 1972. Frontrunner Edmund Muskie did worse than expected in the New Hampshire primary and McGovern came in a close second. McGovern picked up valuable momentum in the following months. Despite losing several primaries, including losing the Florida primary to George Wallace, McGovern secured enough delegates to the 1972 Democratic National Convention to win the party's nomination. McGovern's campaign manager, Gary Hart, became a presidential contender himself 12 years later.

In the 1972 election, McGovern ran on a platform that advocated withdrawal from the Vietnam War in exchange for the return of American prisoners of war and amnesty for draft evaders who had left the country. McGovern's platform also included an across-the-board, 37% reduction in defense spending over three years; and a "demogrant" program giving $1,000 to every citizen in America that was later dropped from the platform. In addition, McGovern supported ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Just over two weeks after his nomination, it was revealed that McGovern's running-mate, Thomas Eagleton, had received electroshock therapy for depression during the 1960s. Though many people still supported Eagleton's candidacy, an increasing number of influential politicians and columnists questioned his ability to be Vice-President. The resulting negative attention prompted McGovern to accept Eagleton's offer to withdraw from the ticket, replacing him with JFK in-law Sargent Shriver. This occurred after McGovern had stated publicly he was still "...behind Eagleton 1000%"; reneging on that statement a few days later made McGovern look indecisive.

The McGovern Commission changes to the convention rules marginalized the influence of establishment Democratic figures. Many refused to support him, with some switching their support to incumbent President Richard Nixon through a campaign effort called "Democrats for Nixon".

In the general election, the McGovern/Shriver ticket suffered a 60%–38% defeat to Nixon — at the time, the second biggest landslide in American history, with Electoral College totals of 520 to 17. McGovern's two electoral vote victories came in Massachusetts and DC; McGovern failed to win his home state of South Dakota.

After this loss, McGovern returned to South Dakota, where he was re-elected to the Senate in 1974. In 1980, he was defeated for re-election by U.S. Rep. James Abdnor amidst that year's Republican sweep.

In 1984, he sought his party's presidential nomination once again. Although he finished in third place in the Iowa caucus amidst a crowded field, his campaign eventually floundered and he withdrew soon after the New Hampshire primary.

The McGoverns had five children: Ann, Terry, Susan, Mary McGovern-McKinnon, and Steven. In 1994, his daughter Teresa died of hypothermia while intoxicated. McGovern revealed his daughter had battled her alcohol addiction for years. He founded a non-profit organization in her name to help others suffering from alcoholism.

From 1998 to 2001, he served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies. In 2001, he was appointed UN Global Ambassador on World Hunger by the World Food Programme.

He endorsed Democrat Wesley Clark's unsuccessful candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination for the 2004 presidential election on January 18, 2004.

McGovern continues to lecture and make public appearances. He previously owned a used book store in his summer home of Stevensville in Montana's Bitterroot Valley.

McGovern's wife, Eleanor, died January 25, 2007, at their home in Mitchell, South Dakota.

George McGovern effected major changes in Democratic party rules that continue to this day, such as the requirements of diversity of the delegates to the party's nominating convention. He remains a symbol of the political left during the turbulent 1960s and early 1970s when the country was torn by U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and the corruption and abuse of power of the Nixon administration.

Despite his reputation as a dovish liberal, McGovern is not a pacifist, and has publicly stated so.

McGovern's legacy includes a commitment to combating hunger both in the US and across the globe. In addition to numerous domestic programs, together with Republican Sen. Bob Dole he created an international school lunch program through The George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which helps fight child hunger and poverty by providing nutritious meals to children in schools in developing countries.

Adapted from [Link]

JOB APPROVAL POLLS

BOOKS
Title Purchase Contributor
What It Means to Be a Democrat  Purchase Craverguy 
Vote Your Conscience: The Last Campaign of George McGovern  Purchase Craverguy 
The Third Freedom: Ending Hunger in Our Time  Purchase Craverguy 
The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition  Purchase Craverguy 
Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now  Purchase Craverguy 

EVENTS
Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

NEWS
Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Oct 21, 2012 11:00am Obituary George McGovern  Article New Jerusalem 
Oct 21, 2012 06:25am Obituary George McGovern, proud liberal, dead at 90   Article Homegrown Democrat 
Oct 15, 2012 07:00pm News Ex-Sen. George McGovern, who lost presidency to Nixon in historic landslide, in hospice care  Article RBH 
Apr 05, 2012 10:00am News George McGovern Released From Fla. Hospital  Article J.R. 
Apr 04, 2012 05:00pm News George McGovern hospitalized, family says  Article Craverguy 
Dec 02, 2011 08:35pm News George McGovern hospitalized after fall  Article RBH 

DISCUSSION
Importance? 9.75000 Average

FAMILY
Wife Eleanor Stegeberg McGovern Oct 31, 1943-Jan 25, 2007
Daughter Susan McGovern Rowen 0000-
Grandson Sam McGovern-Rowen 1976-
Daughter Ann McGovern 0000-
Daughter Mary McGovern-McKinnon 0000-
Daughter Teresa "Terry" McGovern 1949-1994
Son Steven McGovern 1952-2012
Grandson Matt McGovern 0000-

INFORMATION LINKS
George S. McGovern Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech 1972  Discuss
Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient George McGovern  Discuss
RACES
  03/06/1998 US Ambassador to the United Nations - Rome Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  07/19/1984 US President - D Convention Lost 0.10% (-56.31%)
  07/01/1984 US President - D Primaries Lost 1.84% (-36.47%)
  07/01/1984 US President - R Primaries Lost 0.01% (-98.77%)
  11/04/1980 SD US Senate Lost 39.40% (-18.80%)
  08/14/1980 US Vice President - D Convention Lost 0.06% (-72.93%)
  06/03/1980 SD US Senate - D Primary Won 62.44% (+24.89%)
  11/05/1974 SD US Senate Won 53.04% (+6.09%)
  12/18/1972 US President Lost 3.16% (-93.49%)
  11/07/1972 US President National Vote Lost 37.53% (-23.16%)
  08/12/1972 NY US President - L Convention Won 95.61% (+92.11%)
  07/13/1972 US President - D Convention Won 57.37% (+39.95%)
  06/06/1972 US President - D Primaries Lost 25.34% (-0.42%)
  06/06/1972 US President - R Primaries Lost 0.07% (-86.72%)
  11/05/1968 SD US Senate Won 56.79% (+13.58%)
  08/29/1968 US President - D Convention Lost 5.63% (-61.80%)
  07/29/1968 US Vice President - D Convention Lost 0.08% (-73.93%)
  11/06/1962 SD US Senate Won 50.12% (+0.23%)
  11/08/1960 SD US Senate Lost 44.88% (-10.24%)
  11/04/1958 SD District 01 Won 53.44% (+6.89%)
  11/06/1956 SD District 01 Won 52.40% (+4.80%)
SPECULATIVE, DID NOT RUN
  07/01/1976 US President - D Primaries Lost 0.00% (-39.19%)
ENDORSEMENTS
SD At-Large - D Primary - Jun 05, 2012 D Matthew Varilek
US President - D Primaries - Jun 03, 2008 D Barack Obama
MD US Senate - D Primary - Sep 12, 2006 D Allan Lichtman
SD US President - D Primary - Jun 01, 2004 D Wesley Clark
US President - D Primaries - Jun 09, 2004 D Wesley Clark
US Attorney General - Jan 25, 1977 NPA Reject
US President National Vote - Nov 02, 1976 R Gerald R. Ford
SD US President - D Primary - Jun 01, 1976 D Morris K. "Mo" Udall
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Dec 17, 1975 R John Paul Stevens
U. S. Secretary of State - Sep 21, 1973 NPA Reject
CIA Director - Sep 04, 1973 NPA Reject
Secretary of Defense - Jan 30, 1973 R Elliot L. Richardson
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Dec 15, 1971 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Dec 09, 1971 D Lewis Franklin Powell, Jr.
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - May 17, 1970 R Harry Blackmun
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Apr 08, 1970 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Nov 21, 1969 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Chief Justice - Jun 23, 1969 R Warren E. Burger
SD US President - D Primary - Jun 04, 1968 D Robert Francis Kennedy
US President - D Primaries - Jun 11, 1968 D Robert Francis Kennedy
US President - Dec 13, 1948 D Henry A. Wallace
US President National Vote - Nov 02, 1948 D Henry A. Wallace