Political Biography

George McGovern


George McGovern

George McGovern

 George McGovern

Political Biography


George McGovern 1972

 George McGovern


George McGovern Political Career/Military Career/Connections

Party Affiliation: Democrat

1943–1945: 1st Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, bomber pilot

1948: Campaign volunteer for in the1948 presidential campaign of former Vice- President and Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace. However, deciding that Wallace was in the control of "fanatics" and Communist, McGovern did not vote in the general election, but he supportthe re-election of President Harry Truman

1949-1953: Assistant professor of history and political science at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota

1952: As a supporter of Democratic Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, McGovern publishied seven articles in Mitchell's Daily Republic newspaper in support of Stevenson.

1953: McGovern became the Executive Secretary of the South Dakota Democratic Party

1956: Won election to Congress representing South Dakota's 1st Congressional District

1957-1960: Represented South Dakota's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives

1960: Ran for the U.S. Senate, but lost to Republican office-holder Karl Earl Mundt.

1961-1962: Joined the Kennedy Administration as the first director of the Food for Peace program

1962: Ran for and won election to the U.S. Senate, defeating appointed and former Republican Lieutenant Governor Joseph H. Bottum.

1963-1981: U.S. Senator representing South Dakota

1968: McGovern became a candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination on August 10, 1968, only two weeks prior to the Democratic Nominating Convention in Chicago. McGovern finished a distant third to Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy. McGovern had entered the race late because he did not want to challenge President Johnson. When Johnson dropped out of the race, McGovern supported Robert Kennedy, and entered only after Kennedy's assassination. McGovern had been on the phone with Kennedy only minutes before the murder. McGovern was a vocal opponent of American involvement in the war in Vietnam

1972: McGovern captured the Democratic Presidential Nomination with Thomas Eagleton as his running mate. Soon after the convention, however, Eagleton dropped out of the race due to revelations of his mental health issues. McGovern then picked a Kennedy In-Law, Sargent Shriver, as his running mate. The McGovern/Shriver ticket was defeated by Nixon in one of the worst political defeats in American presidential history.

1980: McGovern lost re-election to Republican James Abdnor, a four-term congressman. McGovern was one of several liberal politicians targeted by the conservative interest group called National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC). As one of many liberals defeated in the 1980 election, McGovern is considered one of the victims of the so-called "Reagan Revolution"

1981: McGovern founded Americans for Common Sense, an organization dedicated to liberal values

1984: Ran for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. He dropped out after placing third in the Massachusetts primary. He then endorsed Walter Mondale and campaigned for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket.

1991-1997: Served as president of the Middle East Policy Council

1998-2001: Appointed by President Bill Clinton, McGovern served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. In January 2001, McGovern was asked to continue working at the United Nations by incoming Republican Presidnet George W. Bush. Traditionally, when a new president takes office, all ambassadors are replaced. McGovern continued in this position until, September 2001

2001: McGovern was appointed as the first United Nations Global Ambassador on World Hunger by the World Food Program

2003: McGovern spoke out publicly against the war in Iraq

2008: In January 2008, McGovern wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney

2008: George McGovern endorsed U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in her bid for the Democratic Presidential Nominatin, and then later gave his support to Senator Barack Obama after concluding Clinton could no longer win.

George McGovern Pictures:


George McGovern and Thomas Eagleton

George McGovern with his first vice-presidential pick, Thomas Eagleton

George McGovern with Sargent Shriver

George McGovern with his second vice-presidential pick, Sargent Shriver

Bill Clinton and George McGovern

Presidential Candidate George McGovern with a young Bill Clinton, who was a campaign worker in Little Rock

George McGovern Personal Information:

George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922 – October 21, 2012)

George McGovern Family:

Eleanor Stegeberg (married October 31, 1943 )



Ann McGovern

Susan McGovern

Mary McGovern

Teresa McGovern

Steven McGovern



1940: Diploma, Mitchell High School (South Dakota)

1940-1943: Attended Dakota Wesleyan University. Called up by the military in 1943

1946: B.A., History, Dakota Wesleyan University

1946-1947: Garrett Theological Seminary

1947-1949: M.A. in history; Northwestern University

1953: Ph.D in history; Northwestern University


Religion: Methodist

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