Former S. Dakota Sen. George McGovern Hospitalized In Florida

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Former South Dakota senator and Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern has been hospitalized in Florida, his daughter said Wednesday.

Ann McGovern told The Associated Press her 89-year-old father was admitted to Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Fla., on Tuesday evening for tests to figure out why he occasionally passes out and loses his ability to speak, she said.

“He’s comfortable. The tests are continuing to see if they can determine what’s causing this,” Ann McGovern said.

Hospital officials said the elder McGovern is in stable condition.

McGovern splits his time between Florida and South Dakota, where he was a South Dakota congressman from 1957 to 1961 and a U.S. senator from 1963 to 1981. He has been hospitalized several times in recent months.

In October, he was treated for exhaustion in Sioux Falls after he completed a lecture tour. Two months later, he fell and hit his head in Mitchell, S.D., just before he was to be interviewed live on C-SPAN for a program called “The Contenders” that focused on failed presidential candidates who had a lasting impact on American politics.

McGovern lost in a historic landslide his 1972 challenge against President Richard Nixon, who eventually resigned amid the Watergate scandal.

McGovern regularly spends time at a home he owns in Mitchell, across the street from a library bearing his name at Dakota Wesleyan University. He also has owned a home in St. Augustine since the 2008 death of his wife, Eleanor.

He and former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, a Republican, were honored that year with the World Food Prize, a distinction some observers have called the Nobel Prize for hunger. Their George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Nutrition Program, which was established in 2000 and funded primarily through Congress, provides millions of meals to children in the U.S. and some three dozen countries across the world.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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