George McGovern Revealed To Historian He Had A Secret Child

An academic with a forthcoming biography of 1972 Democratic presidential candidate and former senator George McGovern has confirmed that the South Dakotan fathered a child before he was married.

He said McGovern, as an 18-year-old freshman at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, S.D., lost his virginity to the girlfriend of a friend during a trip to Lake Mitchell in December of 1940 or January of 1941, and immediately got her pregnant.

George McGovern Remembers Sargent Shriver

Worth a read.

Sarge was an idealist, a man of boundless heart, and a hard-headed businessman who from the ground up built a government program—and he was never afraid to call it just that because he disdained anti-government stereotypes—that has become an enduring force for American purpose and compassion, vastly popular at home and around the globe. I once encountered him in a corner of Africa, his suit jacket off but his tie in place, working with Peace Corps volunteers as they dug a well.

Sarge’s gift, his magic then and always, was not what he could do, however important, but what he could inspire others to do—which he saw as the most important challenge of all. With President Kennedy, he was the new face of America that made the country once again a shining light to people everywhere yearning for a decent life.

I watched him take up the same cause here at home after I had gone to the Senate when he agreed to command the war on poverty. It’s fashionable now to see the Great Society as over-reaching and underperforming. But millions were lifted out of poverty—and if the job was unfinished, it was because a different war, in Vietnam, drained the resources that could have made the difference from Mississippi to simmering urban ghettos around the nation. Sarge was never given the tools to finish the job, but he never gave up or gave in.