George McGovern hospitalized after fall in South Dakota

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2011 1:38 AM
George McGovern hospitalized after fall in South Dakota

(Reuters) - George McGovern, the longtime U.S. senator from South Dakota who ran as the Democratic Party candidate for president in 1972, was hospitalized on Friday in South Dakota after falling and striking his head.

McGovern, 89, fell outside Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota, where he had been scheduled to appear on a live television show, the hospital said.

He was flown 75 miles to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the hospital's statement said. Family members had requested the hospital not release other details.

McGovern had been admitted to the same hospital in late October complaining of fatigue after he had completed a lecture tour. He was released after a short stay and has made other appearances since then.

An alumnus and former professor at the university, he was set to appear on a live C-SPAN broadcast of "The Contenders" from the McGovern Library. The show features 14 losing candidates for U.S. president.

McGovern served in the U.S. Senate from 1963 to 1981. He made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican President Richard Nixon from the White House in 1972 on a platform opposing the Vietnam war.

The son of a Methodist minister, McGovern flew combat missions over Europe as a B-24 bomber pilot during World War Two, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also headed the Food for Peace program during the administration of President John F. Kennedy.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Jackie Frank)