22 Oct 2012

Death of Senator McGovern

6:02 am on 22 October 2012

Former United States Senator, George McGovern, who lost the presidential race against Richard Nixon, died on Sunday in South Dakota.

He had one of the worst electoral defeats in US history, when he challenged Mr Nixon in 1972 on a platform opposing the war in Vietnam; taking only 37.5% of the vote and winning only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Mr McGovern, 90, was hospitalized several times in the past year after complaining of fatigue after a book tour, a fall and dizzy spells.

He served in the Senate for South Dakota from 1963 - 1981.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton awarded Mr McGovern the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor.

His wife Eleanor died in 2007. They had five children.