George Stanley McGovern (born July 19, 1922 in Avon , Bon Homme County , South Dakota , † October 21, 2012 in Sioux Falls , South Dakota) was an American politician . He was a presidential candidate for the Democratic Party in the 1972 election , a member of the House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961, and US Senator for South Dakota from 1963 to 1981.
George McGovern studied at Dakota Wesleyan University , was a B-24 bomber pilot during World War II , then received his PhD from Northwestern University and accepted a professorship in history at Dakota Wesleyan University. In 1956, McGovern was elected to the US House of Representatives, where he specialized in agriculture.
From 1960 he worked as a special advisor to President John F. Kennedy and from January 1961 headed the Food for Peace program, which included food deliveries to several countries with the aim of building better relationships. In July 1962, he resigned as head of the program in order to better promote his candidacy for the Senate. After his entry into the US Senate, he developed into one of the leading opponents of US involvement in the Vietnam War .
McGovern's reforms of the structures and statutes of the Democratic Party contributed to his party's 1972 nomination as a candidate for president. He narrowly beat George Wallace in the Democratic primary . During the election campaign, he represented a reform program that included cuts in armaments spending and the introduction of an unconditional basic income of $ 6,500 to replace other social benefits. His main demand was the end of the Vietnam War, in return for the US withdrawal North Vietnamese military should release the prisoners of war to the USA. Many conservative Democrats turned away from him precisely because of his reform ideas and gave their support to the Republican incumbent Richard Nixon . In Nixon's election campaign, McGovern was portrayed as a crazy radical, at the same time Nixon took over the demand for withdrawal and presented his strategy as a withdrawal driven by a strong leadership, without giving in to North Vietnam.
After his original candidate for the office of Vice President , Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri , had to resign because of a previously hidden depressive illness, McGovern chose Sargent Shriver , the former head of the Peace Corps , as his running mate . Both then had to admit defeat with a total of 37.5% of the votes in one of the clearest electoral defeats in US history against Nixon and Spiro Agnew . In addition to the federal district of Washington , the Democrats only achieved a majority in Massachusetts . However, it turned out that the process of this election was unlawfully influenced by Nixon and his team ( Watergate affair ).
McGovern was one of the few politicians who spoke out against the military involvement in the Mayaguez incident in 1975 . In 1974 McGovern was re-elected to the Senate, in 1980 he lost his seat to Republican James Abdnor . In 1984 he ran again for the Democratic presidential nomination, but withdrew from the race after only finishing third in the Massachusetts primary.
- Thomas J. Knock: The Rise of a Prairie Statesman: The Life and Times of George McGovern. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2016, ISBN 978-0-691-14299-9 .
- Stefan Kornelius : The farewell to reason. No American leftist has as much experience in Washington as Nixon's former opponent, George McGovern - an interview about the radicalization of America. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , Feuilleton, Friday, November 4, 2011, p. 15.
- Mark A. Lempke: My Brother's Keeper: George McGovern and Progressive Christianity. University of Massachusetts Press, Boston 2017, ISBN 978-1-62534-277-5 .
- David E. Rosenbaum: Dashed Presidential Hopes, but a Life Devoted to Liberalism. In: The New York Times . October 21, 2012.
- Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Terror in the Election Campaign. Heyne Verlag, 2008, ISBN 978-3-453-40618-6 .
- Jeffrey J. Volle: The Political Legacies of Barry Goldwater and George McGovern: Shifting Party Paradigms. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke 2014, ISBN 978-1-349-28621-8 .
- George McGovern in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (English)
- George McGovern in the nndb (English)
- George McGovern in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Copy of various biographies of George McGovern on Answers.com (English)
- On the Death of George McGovern: A Liberal at a Tipping Point in American Politics on World Socialist Web Site
- Senator George McGovern Dies ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Kennedy, John F .: Letter Accepting Resignation of George McGovern as Director of the Food for Peace Program . White house . July 18, 1962. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
- Howard Zinn: A People's History of the United States . Harper Perennial, New York 2005, ISBN 0-06-083865-5 , p. 553
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||McGovern, George Stanley (full name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American politician|
|DATE OF BIRTH||July 19, 1922|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Avon , South Dakota|
|DATE OF DEATH||October 21, 2012|
|Place of death||Sioux Falls , South Dakota|