Tonight, Iowans remember former Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern.
McGovern passed away in his home state of South Dakota Sunday morning at the age of 90, but helped shape the way the Iowa Caucus is still run to this day.
George McGovern was serving as a senator for South Dakota when he made his run for President in 1972.
During his campaign he helped put the Iowa caucuses on the national map.
“McGovern was the first candidate to figure out that Iowa was going to be the first place where the official process started and he was able to take advantage of that,” says political professor from Drake University Art Sanders.
McGovern landed the democratic nomination but lost badly against Richard Nixon for President
However, his career didn’t end there, he served 18 years in the Senate, where along with Sen. Bob Dole helped pass legislation that expanded the school lunch program in the United States.
The two went on to establish the Global Food for Education Initiative which helped millions of children have nutritious meals.
It was both Senators work on these projects that led to them winning the 2008 World Food Prize.
“He was a man of great passion, driven for hungry people, suffering people, and together in a wonderful Republican-Democratic, bipartisan effort with Sen. Dole they led the effort to have school feeding programs be spread all around the globe,” says Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation.
Ambassador Quinn says he got to know Sen. McGovern over the past few years and even attended his 90th birthday party just a few months ago.
He says he’ll remember Sen. McGovern as a humble humanitarian who dedicated his life to making the world a better place.
“His legacy will be that he took food to people around the world making it available and it’s this wonderful, wonderful achievement,” says Ambassador Quinn.
Ambassador Quinn says Sen. McGovern had long ties to Iowa, and told him he used to vacation to the state every summer as a young boy to visit family.
It was on a visit to the Iowa State Capitol that he had his first glimpse into politics.