Former Sen. George McGovern, who lost 1972 presidential bid to Nixon, has died at 90, on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012.
It's a label that a lot of politicians aren't willing to embrace these days but George McGovern never shied away from it.
He said a decade ago, "I am a liberal and always have been." But he said he wasn't the "wild-eyed character" that Republicans made him out to be.
The former South Dakota senator and Democratic presidential nominee in 1972 died yesterday at the age of 90. A public viewing is planned Thursday in Sioux Falls, with a funeral the next day.
McGovern was known for campaigning against the Vietnam War during his years in the Senate and his three presidential bids. He'd been a decorated World War II bomber pilot who would later say he had learned to hate war by waging it.
During his 1972 presidential run, which ended in a historic landslide victory by Richard Nixon despite the unfolding Watergate scandal, McGovern promised to end the war and cut defense spending by billions of dollars.
He helped create the Food for Peace program -- and in his post-Senate years, he focused on feeding the hungry at home and abroad.
Donald Simmons, director, George McGovern Center in Mitchell, S.D., says "McGovern stood his ground in opposing the Vietnam War and was always honest about his positions, despite costly conseqences for his presidential campaign."
According to a spokesman, McGovern died Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012 at a hospice in Sioux Falls, surrounded by family and friends