After being discharged from his service in the US Army Corps during World War II, George McGovern spent most of his adult life in academia and Congress. McGovern (D-SD) was elected to the US Senate in 1962 and served three terms, while also running as the Democrat nominee for President in 1972. McGovern was defeated in his bid for a fourth Senate term. After attempting a quixotic run for the Democrat nomination in 1984 to advance the cause of liberalism, McGovern tried to ease his way into business.
McGovern invested much of his earning from his stints on the public policy speaking circle into a 150 room in in Stratford, Connecticut in 1988. The venture went bankrupt in 1990 and closed in 1991. While McGovern pointed to the recession, McGovern also recognized that red tape burdens from government and the cost of dealing with frivolous lawsuits made it difficult to be a successful small businessman.