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"We are blessed to know that our father lived a long, successful and productive life advocating for the hungry, being a progressive voice for millions and fighting for peace. He continued giving speeches, writing and advising all the way up to and past his 90th birthday, which he celebrated this summer."
Services will be scheduled in Sioux Falls, the family said.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Feeding South Dakota.
n 1972, Senator McGovern was selected as the Democratic Party nominee for president on a platform that included ending the war in Vietnam at a time when the country was torn over U.S. involvement there.
"Let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad," he said to applause at the Democratic convention in Miami Beach, Florida.
He called the unemployment of more than 5 million Americans "the most false and wasteful economics of all" and said his highest domestic priority would be "to ensure that every American able to work has a job to do." He called for an end to a system of economic controls "in which labor is depressed but prices and corporate profits run sky high," and he called for national health insurance and "a fair and just tax system."
McGovern reflected on that defeat in a September piece in The Washington Post, calling it "a significant personal setback" that left him "genuinely stunned."
"The loss is there, an old wound never fully healed. My disappointment was certainly personal, made deeper by the awareness that many thousands of young Americans, and far more Vietnamese and other Asian citizens, were going to and did lose their lives with the Nixon administration's continuation of the war," he wrote. "And I was upset that my supporters would carry the burden of the loss, too -- something that has weighed on me all these years."
But he added, "I am optimistic about the country, and I am convinced that McGovern for President 1972 helped put those ideals within sight and completion today."
In 2008, McGovern switched his allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama. But in a 2009 commentary in the Post, he lashed out at the Obama administration its policies in Afghanistan and reflected on one of the hallmarks of his political life.
"As a U.S. senator during the 1960s, I agonized over the badly mistaken war in Vietnam," McGovern wrote. "After doing all I could to save our troops and the Vietnamese people from a senseless conflict, I finally took my case to the public in my presidential campaign in 1972. Speaking across the nation, I told audiences that the only upside of the tragedy in Vietnam was that its enormous cost in lives and dollars would keep any future administration from going down that road again.
"I was wrong."