George McGovern is coming to speak in Tampa early next month on behalf of his new book, What it Means to be a Democrat.
The 89-year-old former U.S. Senator from South Dakota is best known of course for his unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1972, where he lost badly to Richard Nixon, just as the Watergate saga was unfolding. Less than two years after Nixon took 49 states in that electoral blowout, he resigned from office.
But though losing to Nixon will always be the first thing that most Americans may think of when hearing McGovern's name, his long and illustrious career has been about a generation of service to his country.
McGovern volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II, and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for making a hazardous emergency landing of his damaged plane as a B-24 Liberator pilot.
He became a history professor before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1956. He then ran twice for U.S. Senate, making it on his second bid in 1962, where he served four terms before being ousted in the major realignment of U.S. politics in the same year that saw Ronald Reagan elected (1980).
His Senate career was marked not only by his opposition to the war, but his dedication to economic opportunity and nutrition assistance for the needy, both in the United States and around the world. Robert Kennedy once called him "the most decent man in the Senate—as a matter of fact, he's the only one."
In an event sponsored by Inkwood Books, McGovern will speak and sign copies of What It Means to be a Democrat on Thursday, December 1 at 7 p.m. in the Tampa Tribune Auditorium, 202 South Parker Street, Tampa.
You can reserve your copies at 813-253-2638, firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at inkwoodbooks.com.