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For Immediate Release

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


McGovern honored last year for efforts to fight world hunger

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sept. 10, 2009 – Senator George S. McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, three-term U.S. senator and two-term congressman, will discuss his latest book, “Abraham Lincoln,” as well as a range of current topics, at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15 in the South Theatre at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, 825 N. Cascade Ave., on the Colorado College campus. McGovern also will sign copies of his book, which will be available for sale at the event.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and available at the Worner Campus Center Information Desk, located in the Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave.

McGovern’s book portrays Lincoln as an idealist who, though burdened with the racial prejudices of his day, embraced the principle of equal opportunity. Most resonantly for the author, Lincoln is a brilliant politician who, combining pragmatism with high purpose, steered a course through ugly political realities to end slavery. McGovern’s chief criticism of Lincoln is his wartime suspensions of habeas corpus and press freedoms. Douglas Brinkley, author and history commentator for CBS News, calls McGovern’s book, “A startlingly original and deeply thoughtful analysis of Abraham Lincoln. If you are looking to read just one book on Lincoln, this landmark gem is the one.”

McGovern is a prolific author and a significant figure in America today, who in addition to discussing his book will address topics ranging from health care and world hunger to Iraq and Afghanistan.

McGovern was born on July 19, 1922, in Avon, S.D., the son of a Wesleyan Methodist minister. In 1943 World War II interrupted McGovern's education at Dakota Wesleyan University. He flew 35 combat missions as a B-24 bomber pilot in Europe, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, and is the central character in Stephen Ambrose's book “The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys who Flew the B24's Over Germany.”

After the war he returned to college, graduating in 1946. McGovern then attended Garrett Seminary for one year before enrolling at Northwestern University in Chicago, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American history and government. McGovern returned to Dakota Wesleyan University in 1950 as a professor of history and political science, but left in 1955 to revitalize the South Dakota Democratic Party. He was elected to Congress in 1956 and reelected in 1958.

After McGovern lost his first bid for the U.S. Senate in 1960, President John F. Kennedy named him director of the Food for Peace program, in which he oversaw the donation of millions of tons of food to developing nations. McGovern was then elected to the Senate in 1962 and reelected in 1968 and 1974. In 1972 Senator McGovern was selected as the Democratic Party nominee for president, but lost to Richard Nixon.

McGovern remained a longtime leader in ensuring nutrition and food security as a means to fight poverty and political instability. He was appointed United Nations Ambassador on World Hunger in 2001, and in 2008 he and Senator Bob Dole were named World Food Prize Laureates for their work promoting school-feeding programs globally.

McGovern’s lecture is sponsored by the office of the president and Patricia Ward Kelly, a 1980 graduate of Colorado College. For questions regarding the lecture, call (719) 389-6174.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,975 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>