If you’ve been reading the Argus this past weekend, you caught the story about the FBI’s background investigation on McGovern for when he served in the Kennedy administration – including the discovery of a child born out of wedlock – his battles with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, and that people gained access to the file.
Journalist Tom Lawrence expands on this information, and drops the bombshell that McGovern not only had one, but two love-children, and that a book may be coming out from the late former Senator with more bombshells about his personal life:
The late South Dakota icon reportedly fathered a child in the early 1940s, prior to his marriage. FBI files reveal the child weighed on his mind for some time, as he wondered if the secret would be revealed and, in those more innocent times, damage or destroy his political career.
Don Simmons, a close friend of McGovern in his final years, said McGovern had, in fact, two children outside of marriage.
Another child was born out of a relationship McGovern had while serving as an aviator in Europe during World War II. McGovern, like many if not most men and women in the armed forces, was unsure of his safe return home, so he lived a life that included drinking and women.
He had married his wife Eleanor before departing for Europe. Simmons said he does not know if Eleanor was aware of her husband’s children outside of marriage although it has been reported he told her, in late 1972, of the child born in the USA. That child was conceived prior to their marriage.
His daughter, and first child, would be in her 70s, if still alive. Did McGovern ever meet her? What of the mother? Those sections of the story remain unclear.
A few months before he died, McGovern and I had a discussion about his books and he showed me a manuscript he was working on. He said it contained a secret about his life that would shock people but did not allow me a close look.
That book has yet to appear and I have since wondered exactly what that secret was. Simmons, who read the manuscript, said the children born out of wedlock are not the biggest surprises.
And will we ever see the book? Or will these new secrets be buried, and lost to the mists of time?