George McGovern

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George Stanley McGovern (July 19, 1922 – October 21, 2012) was an American historian, author, and politician. A liberal from the state of South Dakota, he served as both a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator before running for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1972 as an all-out opponent of the Vietnam War. A few years earlier, as part of McGovern–Fraser Commission, he had helped change the Democratic Party's nominating process by greatly increasing the number of caucuses and primaries and reducing the influence of party power-brokers. Partly because of his profound knowledge of the new process, he succeeding in gaining the Democratic nomination. The Democrats, however, were badly split ideologically, and he was further burdened by the debacle of his vice-presidential pick of Thomas Eagleton. He lost in the general election to incumbent Richard Nixon in one of the biggest landslides in American electoral history. Re-elected Senator in 1968 and 1974, he was defeated in a bid for a fourth term in 1980.