George McGovern

McGovern in 1972, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, U.S. News & World Report Magazine Photograph Collection

Birth Name: George Stanley McGovern

Date of Birth: July 19, 1922

Place of Birth: Avon, South Dakota, U.S.

Date of Death: October 21, 2012

Place of Death: Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S.

Ethnicity: Irish, Scottish, English

George McGovern, also known as George S. McGovern, was an American historian, author, and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Dakota, from January 3, 1957 to January 3, 1961, a U.S. Senator from South Dakota, from January 3, 1963 to January 3, 1981, and the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Agencies for Food and Agriculture, from April 15, 1998 to October 19, 2001, among other duties.

He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 1972. He was also a candidate for the Democratic Party’s 1968 and 1984 presidential nominations.

George was the son of Frances Myrtle (McLean) and The Rev. Joseph C. McGovern, a Methodist pastor. His father was born in Pennsylvania, to an English-born father, of Irish descent, and a Scottish mother. His mother was born in Dundas, Ontario, Canada, of Scottish and English ancestry.

He was married to Eleanor (Stegeberg) McGovern, with whom he had five children. He also had a daughter from a previous relationship.

George’s paternal grandfather was Thomas Howard McGovern (the son of Joseph McGovern and Julia/Julie Anne Courtney). Thomas was born in Lancashire, England. Joseph was born in Monaghan, Ireland, the son of Jack McGovern and Julia Cosgrove. George’s great-grandmother Julia was evidently also from Monaghan, the daughter of Owen Courtney and Catherine Connolly.

George’s paternal grandmother was Mary Love (the daughter of Robert Love and Mary). George’s grandmother Mary was Scottish, from Renfrewshire.

George’s maternal grandfather was Justice Henry McLean (the son of Jesse/Jessie McLean and Phoebe). Justice was born in Ontario, Canada, of Scottish or mostly Scottish descent.

George’s maternal grandmother was Ann Elizabeth Cummins (the daughter of Aaron Buell Cummins and Margaret Ann Thompson). George’s grandmother Ann was born in Ontario, Canada, and had American-born ancestors. Aaron was the son of Abraham Cummins, Jr. and Elizabeth Rood. Margaret was the daughter of Gordon George Duncan Thompson and Ann McLean.

Sources: Genealogy of George McGovern (focusing on his father’s side) –

George McGovern on the 1930 U.S. Census –

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