SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—George McGovern once joked that he had wanted to run for president in the worst way—and that he had done so.
It was a campaign in 1972 dishonored by Watergate, a scandal that fully unfurled too late to knock Republican President Richard M. Nixon from his place as a commanding favorite for re-election. The South Dakota senator tried to make an issue out of the bungled attempt to wiretap the offices of the Democratic National Committee, calling Nixon the most corrupt president in history.
A proud liberal who had argued fervently against Vietnam War as a Democratic senator from South Dakota and three-time candidate for president, McGovern died at 6:15 a.m., New York time, Sunday at a Sioux Falls hospice, surrounded by family and lifelong friends, family spokesman Steve Hildebrand told The Associated Press. McGovern was 90.