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Obama remembers McGovern as 'champion for peace'

Sunday - 10/21/2012, 6:03pm  ET

By The Associated Press

(AP) - "George McGovern dedicated his life to serving the country he loved. He signed up to fight in World War II, and became a decorated bomber pilot over the battlefields of Europe. When the people of South Dakota sent him to Washington, this hero of war became a champion for peace. And after his career in Congress, he became a leading voice in the fight against hunger." _ President Barack Obama in an emailed statement

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"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." _ Vice President Joe Biden in an emailed statement

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"We first met George while campaigning for him in 1972. Our friendship endured for 40 years. As a war hero, distinguished professor, Congressman, Senator and Ambassador, George always worked to advance the common good and help others realize their potential. Of all his passions, he was most committed to feeding the hungry, at home and around the world. The programs he created helped feed millions of people, including food stamps in the 1960s and the international school feeding program in the 90's, both of which he co-sponsored with Senator Bob Dole." _ Former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an emailed statement

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"Ann and I extend our condolences to the family of George McGovern, the unwavering standard bearer of his party and a hero of World War II." _ Former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney via Twitter

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"Although he and our father were political rivals, they had much in common: a deep love of country; an abiding passion for the issues about which they cared; an unwavering commitment to serve the American people. Over the course of his long and productive career, George McGovern earned the respect of Americans around the country and across the political spectrum." _ Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, whose father, President Richard Nixon, beat McGovern in the 1972 presidential election, in an emailed statement

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"Today, 31 million children will participate in the school lunch program thanks to the tireless efforts of Senator McGovern - a humble, compassionate and caring man who always looked out for those in our society who needed a helping hand. His influence in fighting hunger extended far and wide, and our world is a better place because of his generous spirit." _ Former Republican presidential nominee and U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-KS, in an emailed statement

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"George McGovern was a self-made man who served our nation, in war and in peace, with courage and conviction. He worked hard on behalf of South Dakota, and made history as the only South Dakotan to be nominated for President. Linda and I extend our sympathies to the McGovern family." _ South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, in an emailed statement

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"George McGovern - always a gentleman and an outstanding member of the Greatest Generation. RIP." _ U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., via Twitter

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"I and everyone at the United Nations World Food Programme today deeply mourn the loss of U.S. Senator George McGovern. He was a founding father of our organization, our first Goodwill Ambassador and a lifelong advocate for the hungry poor. ... To his last waking hour, George McGovern never abandoned the good fight - continuing to serve as a vigorous and vigilant champion for the voiceless." _ Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme, in an emailed statement

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"George McGovern was a voice of clarity and conviction at a time when America needed it most. He spoke to many of us who opposed the war but loved our country, because he was the genuine article, a soft-spoken, decent and gentle man who lived a remarkable life with humility, a decorated bomber pilot who never bragged about his own heroism, even as he ran into the buzzsaw of the negative and destructive politics that marked the Watergate era." _ U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in an emailed statement

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"George McGovern was clearly one of South Dakota's most outstanding public servants. The USA and the world would have been better off if he had defeated Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election." _ Al Neuharth, a South Dakota native and founder of USA TODAY, The Freedom Forum and Newseum, in an emailed statement

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