Former Missouri Sen. Thomas Eagleton Dies

Former Missouri Sen. Thomas Eagleton has died. Eagleton was George McGovern's choice for vice president in 1972, but was forced to withdraw from the race after revelations that he had been hospitalized for depression.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

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.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.