The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


McGovern: Fighting hunger greatest achievement

In his last interview, a student asked former Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., to name his greatest accomplishment.

McGovern replied, “Well, I received the honor from President Bill Clinton – they call it the “Medal of Freedom” — and that is my greatest pride as far as awards.

“But outside that, my greatest achievement is working towards ending hunger. A while ago a respected historian out of Oxford University wrote that I have helped more hungry people than any other individual in history. And that is the best honor I can think of.”

The interview was released by KDLT, a Sioux Falls television station on Thursday on the eve of McGovern’s funeral.

At a memorial service Thursday evening in Sioux Falls, Vice President Joe Biden said McGovern, who died on Sunday at age 90, should be remembered as the “father of the modern Democratic Party,” because helped open the party to women, young people and minorities, the AP reported.

Biden also said it took “political gumption” for McGovern to oppose the Vietnam war.

“I admired him from the day I became aware of him to the day he died,” Biden said, choking up at moments.

Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D-S.D., presided over the service, and Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., gave remarks, according to a White House pool report.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and former Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., who managed McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign, were also present, according to the pool report.

The funeral service for McGovern at the Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science today in Sioux Falls will be broadcast live on C-SPAN at 2 p.m. EDT, 1 p.m. CDT.