Quiz: Which Presidential Candidates Had Health Issues?

Christine Wiebe; Albert B. Lowenfels, MD


October 10, 2016

George McGovern thought that he could persuade Ted Kennedy to be his running mate in the 1972 election, but when Kennedy continued to decline right up to the beginning of the Democratic convention in Miami, McGovern had to scramble to find someone else.[6] Without any formal vetting process, he chose Sen. Thomas Eagleton of Missouri.

Shortly after the convention ended, rumors and news stories cropped up about Sen. Eagleton undergoing electroshock therapy for depression and exhaustion in the 1960s. Although McGovern initially defended his running mate's ability to govern, the political pressure became insurmountable, and 18 days after he had been nominated as a candidate for Vice President, Sen. Eagleton announced that he was leaving the ticket.

After that election, background checks that include potential candidates' medical records became the norm.


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