Services Set for Former Sen. George McGovern - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Services Set for Former Sen. George McGovern

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Services have been set for former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern. A public viewing is planned for 1:00- 6:00 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls. Members of the McGovern family will be at the viewing from 5:00-6:00 p.m. A prayer service will follow at 6:30 p.m. at the church.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Friday at Mary Sommervold Hall at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls.  A private burial will take place at a later date at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

McGovern, who lost a 1972 presidential bid to Richard M. Nixon, died Sunday at a Sioux Falls hospice. He was 90.

Original Story

Former Sen. George McGovern, who lost a 1972 presidential bid to Richard Nixon in a historic landslide, died early Sunday, his family said in a statement. He was 90.

McGovern passed away at a hospice in Sioux Falls, SD.

Steve Hildebrand, a spokesman for the family, issued a statement to NBC News that read: "At approximately 5:15 am CT [6: 15 a.m. ET] this morning, our wonderful father, George McGovern passed away peacefully at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD, surrounded by our family and life-long friends.

"We are blessed to know that our father lived a long, successful and productive life advocating for the hungry, being a progressive voice for millions and fighting for peace.

"He continued giving speeches, writing and advising all the way up to and past his 90th birthday, which he celebrated this summer."

McGovern was a bomber pilot in World War II who became an early critic of the Vietnam War and a leader of the Democrats' liberal wing. He was elected to his first of three Senate terms in 1962.

McGovern ran for president three times, also making a try for the nomination in 1968 and 1984. Despite the 1972 Watergate break-in, Nixon won a second term by a huge landslide.

McGovern challenged Nixon in 1972 on a platform opposing the war in Vietnam, but suffered one of the most lopsided defeats in U.S. history, taking only 37.5 percent of the vote and carrying only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

Later as Nixon's presidency unraveled in the Watergate scandal, bumper stickers saying "Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts" and buttons saying "Don't blame me, I voted for McGovern" began to appear.

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