Former US Senator George McGovern, who stood as the Democratic presidential candidate against Richard Nixon in 1972, has died, aged 90, BBC News reported.
He was in a hospice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and slipped out of consciousness three days ago.
McGovern’s bid for the presidency in 1972 was marred by what later emerged as a dirty-tricks campaign by President Nixon’s re-election committee, including the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, in Washington DC.
Nixon, who already enjoyed an advantage throughout the campaign, won a second term in one of the biggest landslides in modern US history.
McGovern had made two other brief attempts to obtain the Democratic nomination in 1968 and 1984.
At the time, he was seen as a leading voice of the Democratic party’s liberal wing.
After four years in the House of Representatives, he was one of the senators for South Dakota from 1963 to 1981.
He helped create the Food for Peace program, which sent US food overseas as a form of international aid, and became its first director in 1961.
Despite his failure to unseat Nixon, he left an enduring mark on US politics: among his campaign workers in 1972 was a young Bill Clinton.