Former Missouri Sen. Thomas Eagleton Dies
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:
One other political note. Former Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton has died. Eagleton was best known as George McGovern's vice presidential choice in 1972. He was forced to drop out of the race after revelations that he had been hospitalized several times for depression.
Mr. THOMAS EAGLETON (Former Senator, Missouri): Thousands and thousands of people have phoned, have telegrammed or written to me or to Senator McGovern urging me to press on. But ladies and gentlemen, I will not divide the Democratic Party, which already has too many divisions.
ELLIOTT: And so Senator Eagleton stepped aside, replaced by Sargent Shriver. But that was not the end of Thomas Eagleton's political career. He served in the Senate until 1987 despite an often-expressed wish to leave politics and become the Major League Baseball commissioner. Eagleton never got the baseball job but he was instrumental in bringing the Los Angeles Rams football team to St. Louis in 1995.
One of his last major projects was stem-cell research. Though in poor health, Eagleton spent part of last year campaigning for Missouri's Amendment Two, an ultimately successful ballot initiative aimed at protecting stem-cell research in the state.
Thomas Eagleton was 77. He had been in bad health for some time.