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Former Senator and Presidential Candidate George McGovern Dies at Age 90

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Former senator and presidential candidate George McGovern died Sunday morning at age 90. (Getty Images)

George McGovern Former senator and presidential candidate George McGovern died Sunday morning at age 90. (Getty Images)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (TheBlaze/AP) -- A family spokesman says former U.S. Sen. George McGovern, the Democrat who lost to President Richard Nixon in 1972 in a historic landslide, has died at the age of 90.

The spokesman, Steve Hildebrand, told The Associated Press by telephone that McGovern died at 5:15 a.m. Sunday at a hospice in Sioux Falls, surrounded by family and friends.

McGovern was a bomber pilot in World War II who became an early critic of the Vietnam War and a leader of the Democrats' liberal wing.

He was elected to his first of three Senate terms in 1962.

McGovern ran for president three times, also making a try for the nomination in 1968 and 1984.

Despite the 1972 Watergate break-in, Nixon won a second term in one of the biggest landslides in modern history.

"George McGovern dedicated his life to serving the country he loved," President Barack Obama said in a statement Sunday morning. "George was a statesman of great conscience and conviction, and Michelle and I share our thoughts and prayers with his family."

Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement he and wife Jill were "profoundly saddened" to hear of McGovern's death, someone he served with and considered a friend.

"George believed deeply in public service. It defined him as a Senator and as a man. And he never stopped serving for his entire life – whether it was his courage in World War II, his time in Congress, or his fight to eliminate hunger at home and abroad," Biden said.

​This post has been updated.

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