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George McGovern, biographical highlights

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 1:10 PM EDT, Sun October 21, 2012
Former Sen. George McGovern, 90, died on Sunday morning. McGovern was the Democratic nominee for president in 1972. He ran against incumbent Richard Nixon and won only 17 electoral votes to Nixon's 520. He served in the U.S. Senate and House representing South Dakota before his loss for the top office. Pictured, McGovern attends the 2011 funeral service for Sargent Shriver, his 1972 running mate. Former Sen. George McGovern, 90, died on Sunday morning. McGovern was the Democratic nominee for president in 1972. He ran against incumbent Richard Nixon and won only 17 electoral votes to Nixon's 520. He served in the U.S. Senate and House representing South Dakota before his loss for the top office. Pictured, McGovern attends the 2011 funeral service for Sargent Shriver, his 1972 running mate.
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George McGovern's political career
George McGovern's political career
George McGovern's political career
George McGovern's political career
George McGovern's political career
George McGovern's political career
George McGovern's political career
George McGovern's political career
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • McGovern's 1972 presidential bid was based on his opposition to the Vietnam War
  • He established a foundation to fund research on alcoholism after his daughter's death
  • He and former Sen. Bob Dole set up a program to provide school lunches in developing countries
  • McGovern flew 35 combat missions in WW II and received the Distinguished Flying Cross

(CNN) -- George Stanley McGovern, a stalwart liberal from South Dakota who served in the U.S. House and Senate for many years, died Sunday. Following are biographical details and highlights of his career.

Personal:

• Birth date: July 19, 1922

• Birth place: Avon, South Dakota

• Parents: Joseph, minister, and Frances (McLean) McGovern

• Marriage: Eleanor (Stegeberg) McGovern

• Children: Mary, Steven, Teresa (d. 1994 at age 45), Susan, Ann

• Education: Dakota Wesleyan University, B.A., 1945

Northwestern University, M.A., 1949; Ph.D., 1953

• Military service: U.S. Army Air Forces, 1943 - 1945, 1st Lieutenant.

• Religion: Methodist

Opinion: McGovern, a strong man who overcame defeat

Other Facts:

• He interrupted his college studies to enlist in the military right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

• McGovern flew a B-24 in 35 combat missions over Europe during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Timeline:

• 1949 - 1953 - Assistant professor of history and political science at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, his alma mater.

• 1953 - 1955 - Executive secretary of the South Dakota Democratic Party.

• 1957 - 1961 - U.S. Representative, representing South Dakota's First District.

• 1961 - 1962 - Director of Food for Peace Program and special assistant to President John F. Kennedy.

• 1962 - Elected to the U.S. Senate. Re-elected in 1968 and 1974.

• September 1971 - Embarks on a fact-finding mission to South Vietnam regarding American involvement in the Vietnam War.

• 1972 - Named as the Democratic Party's nominee for president. His presidential campaign is based on his opposition to the Vietnam War.

• 1972 - Loses the presidential election to Richard Nixon by a landslide (60.7% to 37.5%), carrying only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, for 17 Electoral College votes.

• 1975 - Is widely criticized for visiting Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana as an attempt to improve U.S.-Cuban relations.

• 1980 - Loses re-election to a fourth term as senator.

• September 13, 1983 - Announces his candidacy for president in the 1984 election.

• March 14, 1984 - Drops out of the presidential race after a third-place finish in the Massachusetts primary.

• April 14, 1984 - Hosts "Saturday Night Live."

• 1991 - 1998 - President of the Middle East Policy Council.

• 1994 - Establishes the McGovern Family Foundation to fund research on alcoholism after his daughter Teresa's death.

• 1998 - 2001 - U.S. ambassador to United Nations Agencies on Food and Agriculture.

• August 9, 2000 - Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

• 2000 - McGovern and former Sen. Bob Dole establish a program to provide school lunches for poor children in developing countries. The McGovern-Dole Program is signed into law in 2002 by President George W. Bush.

• 2001 - United Nations global ambassador on world hunger.

• October 7, 2006 - The George and Eleanor McGovern Library and Center for Public Leadership and Justice is dedicated on the Dakota Wesleyan University campus.

• January 12, 2007 - Delivers an anti-Iraq war speech to House Democrats.

• October 16, 2008 - Receives the World Food Prize (with Bob Dole) at a ceremony at the Iowa state Capitol in Des Moines.

• October 25-27, 2011 - Hospitalized in South Dakota for fatigue.

• December 2, 2011 - Taken to a South Dakota hospital after falling at Dakota Wesleyan University.

• April 2012 - Treated in a Florida hospital for "brief transient spells where he passes out and becomes verbally unresponsive."

• October 15, 2012 - Admitted to the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

• October 21, 2012 - Dies at the Dougherty Hospice House at the age of 90.

Opinion: Ahead of his time

Publications:

"War against Want: America's Food for Peace Program," 1964

"A Time of War, a Time of Peace," 1968

"The Great Coalfield War," with Leonard Guttridge, 1972

"McGovern: The Man and His Beliefs," 1972

"An American Journey: The Presidential Campaign Speeches of George McGovern," 1974

"Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Korea," with Richard Stilwell, 1977

"Grassroots: The Autobiography of George McGovern," 1977

"Terry: My Daughter's Life-and-Death Struggle with Alcoholism," 1997

"The Third Freedom: Ending Hunger in Our Time," 2001

"Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now," 2006

"Leadership and Service: An Introduction," 2008

"Abraham Lincoln," 2008

"What It Means to Be a Democrat," 2011

Politicians pay tribute

Web sites:

McGovern Center Bio

McGovern Library

Biographical Directory of the United States Government

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