Tags: George McGovern | FBI | J. Edgar Hoover | documents | secret child

Argus Leader: FBI Documents Show George McGovern Fathered 'Illegitimate Child'

Image: Argus Leader: FBI Documents Show George McGovern Fathered 'Illegitimate Child'
Former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. (REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

By    |   Monday, 27 Jul 2015 05:24 PM

Newly uncovered documents show that J. Edgar Hoover's FBI investigated former senator, congressman, and presidential candidate George McGovern in the 1960s and 1970s, which revealed McGovern fathered an "illegitimate child" before his career in politics.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports the child was born prior to McGovern's marriage in 1943. The documents confirm a rumor that followed McGovern throughout his political career.

McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, died in 2012 at the age of 90.

The Argus Leader reports that Richard Nixon's 1972 presidential campaign was given the documents that confirmed McGovern's secret, but it was not known if the campaign used them in any way.

McGovern and Hoover did not get along, and McGovern criticized the FBI on numerous occasions — something the FBI cataloged and put into its thick file about the lawmaker from South Dakota.

"McGovern, I think he felt that Hoover was out of control, that he simply had too much power and no control on his exercise of his power," former McGovern staffer Gordon Weil told the Argus Leader.

The FBI documents, according to the report, show the bureau's documentation regarding McGovern dates back to 1957, when he apparently asked the FBI for copies of Hoover's speeches about communism and juvenile delinquency.

The following year, a citizen contacted the bureau about concerns she had with McGovern, including her belief that he was a communist. Hoover responded to the woman by thanking her, according to documents cited by the Argus Leader. The FBI then investigated the claim, which began a years-long investigation into his political beliefs.

When McGovern joined President John F. Kennedy's administration as a special assistant to Kennedy and also as the director of the president's Food for Peace program, the FBI launched a deeper investigation into his background in order to vet him.

The FBI, reports the Leader, sent the results of the investigation — including the piece about McGovern fathering an "illegitimate child" — to the Kennedy White House. Years later, McGovern's foes in Washington got a hold of the information.

The Argus Leader report references several notes and memos that were contained in McGovern's FBI file, which show Hoover pursued the lawmaker before the lawman died in 1972.

McGovern had a long career in politics. He served in the House from 1957-1961 before working in the Kennedy administration. His stint there was brief, as he served in the Senate from 1963-1981. In his later years (1998-2001), McGovern worked under President Bill Clinton as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

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Newly uncovered documents show that J. Edgar Hoover's FBI investigated former Senator, congressman, and presidential candidate George McGovern in the 1960s and 1970s, which revealed McGovern fathered an "illegitimate child" before his career in politics.
George McGovern, FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, documents, secret child
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2015-24-27
Monday, 27 Jul 2015 05:24 PM
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