McGovern, George Stanley
- Daniel S. Chard
McGovern, George Stanley (19 July 1922–21 October 2012), historian, Senator, and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, was born in Avon, South Dakota, a prairie town with a population of fewer than six hundred. His father, Joseph McGovern, was a Methodist pastor of Scotch-Irish descent, and his mother, Frances McLean McGovern, was a Canadian of Scottish heritage from Alberta. When he was six years old McGovern’s family moved to the small city of Mitchell in southeastern South Dakota, where he attended high school and college, enrolling at Dakota Wesleyan University in 1940. McGovern took leave from his studies during World War II to serve in the Army Air Corps. He flew dozens of bombing missions over Central Europe and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross. In 1943 McGovern married Eleanor Stegeberg, an identical twin from the farm town of Woonsocket, South Dakota, whom he met in college; the couple had five children. McGovern graduated from Dakota Wesleyan in 1946 and earned his Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University in 1953. His dissertation was a landmark study of the Colorado Coal Strike of 1913–1914, the bloodiest labor dispute in American history....