Eleanor McGovern, a woman credited with blazing a new path for political spouses, died Thursday morning of heart failure at her home in Mitchell. She was 85.
Mrs. McGovern had been suffering from heart problems for several years and had undergone bypass surgery last year.
She was a Woonsocket native and the wife of former U.S. Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., whom she began dating in 1940 while both were students at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell.
During her husband’s unsuccessful 1972 run for the presidency, Mrs. McGovern broke from the traditional role of the candidate’s wife by making solo campaign appearances and sharing her own thoughts on the issues.
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