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George McGovern no longer responsive

Oct. 17, 2012 at 8:17 PM   |   Comments

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Ex-Sen. George McGovern, who lost the 1972 presidential race to Richard Nixon, was no longer responsive at a South Dakota hospice, an official said Wednesday.

Lindsey Meyers, director of communications at Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center, said McGovern was being cared for at its Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported McGovern's family made it known they appreciated people's expressions of care and compassion. The family was encouraging people planning remembrances to make donations to Feeding South Dakota www.feedingsouthdakota.org, the newspaper said.

The hospital statement said McGovern, 90, was admitted to the hospice Monday with a combination of medical conditions, due to age, that have worsened in recent months.

Just over a week ago, McGovern had appeared at the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra's opening night performance, where he narrated Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," the newspaper said Monday.

He has had health issues in the past year, however. A year ago, he was hospitalized for exhaustion after speaking at three universities in Europe, and on Dec. 2 he fell and suffered a head injury while walking to the set of a live television broadcast. He was hospitalized in Florida in April after fainting a couple of times.

McGovern, the son of a minister who grew up in Mitchell, flew 35 bomber missions over Europe in World War II before becoming a college history professor and politician.

He served three terms in the U.S. Senate after two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. A liberal Democrat, he lost to Nixon in a landslide.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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