- Last Updated on 08:04 AM 10/24/12
- BY Doug Ford
Former South Dakota Senator and 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern died Sunday at the age of 90.
A graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University and Northwestern University, McGovern became a history professor before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956.
He was reelected in 1958 and lost his first bid for the Senate in 1960 before being elected to that legislative body in 1962.
McGovern served in the Senate from 1963-1981, and he was the Democratic Party presidential nominee in 1972.
He co-sponsored an amendment to end the Vietnam War by legislative means in 1970 and 1971.
These are facts everyone knows about McGovern, but there was a lot more to the man than a lot of us realize.
Did you know McGovern volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Forces upon his country’s entry into World War II?
First Lieutenant McGovern was a member of the 741st Bomb Squadron, 455th Bombardment Group, 15th Air Force, and he flew the maximum of 35 missions over German-occupied Europe as a B-24 Liberator pilot.
He received the Distinguished Flying Cross after a successful emergency landing, and he also was the recipient of three Air Medals while serving his nation.
Did you know McGovern became United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in 1998, and he joined forces with Senator Bob Dole (a World War II Army veteran awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star) in the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Nutrition Program in 2000?
Dole, the GOP presidential nominee in 1996 who lost the election to President Bill Clinton, said who he and McGovern agreed, “The greater of life’s blessings cannot be counted in electoral votes.”
Did you know that McGovern and conservative columnist Cal Thomas were close friends and often dined together, despite the two having widely divergent political views?
In sometimes contentious and partisan political debates, we lose sight of a common goal and what unites us, rather than what separates us.
We all should strive for the common good no matter what our political persuasions are, and there’s no better example of that than George McGovern.
He should be an example to us all.