Former South Dakota senator, 89 year-old George McGovern, is receiving treatment at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls after a fall yesterday evening as he prepared for a live C-SPAN interview at the Dakota Wesleyan University’s McGovern Library.
McGovern was entering a side door when he “tripped and fell and hit his head hard,” said University President Robert Duffett. “It’s just one of those things. He’s made that walk many times before.”
Ann McGovern told reporters that her father fell and hit his head on the pavement outside the library. She said he was “bleeding profusely” but was conscious and talking as he was taken from the university by ambulance. McGovern was flown by helicopter from Mitchell to the hospital in Sioux Falls.
The C-SPAN program, called “The Contenders”, focused on failed presidential candidates who changed the landscape of American politics. McGovern lost his 1972 challenge against President Richard Nixon, who eventually resigned amid the Watergate scandal.
McGovern, St. Augustine’s most famous Democrat, resides at Marsh Creek in St. Augustine during the winter months; and has since the death of his wife, Eleanor, in 2007. During the summer months, McGovern returns to his home in Mitchell.
McGovern was a U.S. senator for South Dakota from 1963 to 1981 and the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 1972. He lost that election to incumbent president Richard M. Nixon and vice president Spiro T. Agnew; the election that will forever be remembered for the notorious break-in of the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate Hotel.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer