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McGovern in stable condition after South Dakota fall

By Reuters
Sunday, December 4, 2011 5:35 EDT
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(Reuters) – George McGovern, the former U.S. senator from South Dakota and Democratic presidential candidate, was stable, alert and resting comfortably on Saturday in a South Dakota hospital after hitting his head in a fall, the hospital said.

McGovern, 89, who ran as the Democratic Party candidate for president in 1972, was flown to Avera McKennan Hospital & University Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Friday after he fell before a planned appearance in Mitchell, South Dakota.

“Senator McGovern is alert and resting comfortably but, as with any head injury, it is important that we observe the situation closely,” Dr. Michael Elliott, chief medical officer at Avera McKennan, said in a statement.

McGovern was scheduled to appear on a live television show at the McGovern Library at Dakota Wesleyan University.

McGovern had been admitted to the same hospital in late October complaining of fatigue after he had completed a lecture tour. He was released after a short stay and has made other appearances since then.

An alumnus and former professor at the university, he was set to appear on a live C-SPAN broadcast of “The Contenders” from the McGovern Library. The show features 14 losing candidates for U.S. president.

McGovern served in the U.S. Senate from 1963 to 1981. He made an unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican President Richard Nixon from the White House in 1972 on a platform opposing the Vietnam war.

The son of a Methodist minister, McGovern flew combat missions over Europe as a B-24 bomber pilot during World War Two, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also headed the Food for Peace program during the administration of President John F. Kennedy.

(Reporting by David Bailey; Editing by Greg McCune)

Mochila insert follows.

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