George McGovern Near Death in Hospice

Former Presidential Candidate Is 'No Longer Responsive'

getty images

By Reuters

Published October 17, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Former U.S. Democratic Senator George McGovern, who lost to Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election, is “no longer responsive” and is surrounded by family and friends at a hospice center in South Dakota, his family said on Wednesday.

McGovern, 90, was admitted to hospice in Sioux Falls “with a combination of medical conditions, due to age, that have worsened over recent months,” his family said in a statement.

“The Senator is no longer responsive. He is surrounded by his loving family and close friends,” the statement added.

McGovern served in the Senate for South Dakota from 1963 to 1981. He unsuccessfully challenged Nixon in 1972 on a platform opposing the Vietnam War. He won only 37.5 percent of the popular vote and carried only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia in one of the worst defeats in U.S. history.

The son of a Methodist minister, McGovern flew combat missions over Europe as a B-24 bomber pilot during World War Two, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross.

He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956, and re-elected two years later. After McGovern lost a U.S. Senate election in 1960, President John F. Kennedy named him the first director of the Food for Peace Program.

He also ran for president in 1968, had a short-lived bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, and considered running for president in 1976.

A historian and prolific author, McGovern had been hospitalized several times in the past year after complaining of fatigue and dizziness and after a fall before a scheduled television appearance at the McGovern Library at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota.

On Wednesday, McGovern’s family encouraged people to donate to Feeding South Dakota (www.feedingsouthdakota.org) if they planned to offer remembrances of the senator.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.