The life of George McGovern, many say, extended far beyond his political career.
If you asked retired SDSU professor Dr. Bob Burns about remembering the real George McGovern, he'd say the legacy extends far from the 1972 presidential campaign, or terms in the senate, to what we did as an individual.
"If you got to know him, you couldn't help but be inspired by his purpose in life and the energy, enthusiasm he brought to bettering the lives of the less fortunate, not only in South Dakota, but across the nation and the globe," Dr. Bob Burns said.
Some called McGovern the 'loyal liberal', which Dr. Burns admits, wasn't always out of respect. But according to Burns, it's because McGovern felt a responsibility to the needs of low-income people, not always in South Dakota, but globally.
"In that respect, he never apologized for being a liberal but embraced the term," Burns said.
Dr. Burns was thankful to have called the Senator a friend.
"His company was always a delight. He had a quick whit, because of his life's experiences, his anecdotes were always delightful, a caring person," Burns said.
But it was one memory in particular that Burns will never forget, one he read in McGovern's autobiography about a time the Senator met Pope John XXIII.
"The Pope said to him 'indeed, when you meet your maker, He will say to you: you have cared for the least of my brethren'. Indeed, Senator McGovern's life was caring for the least of the Lord's brethren," Dr. Burns said.
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