Wendell Richard Anderson, U.S. Senator

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Wendell Richard Anderson

Birthplace: St. Paul, Ramsey, MN, United States
Death: July 17, 2016 (83)
Saint Paul, MN, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Theodore Mauritz Anderson and Gladys Nord
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private and Private

Occupation: Politician, Governor of Minnesota
Managed by: Heidi Susan Travis
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Wendell Richard Anderson, U.S. Senator

Member of the U.S. hockey team that won a silver medal at 1956 Winter Olympics

Military service: US Army (infantry officer, 1956-57)

Governor of Minnesota, January 4, 1971 to December 29, 1976

United States Senator, December 30, 1976 to December 29, 1978

University of Minnesota Board of Regents

Wendell Anderson was born in St. Paul on February 1, 1933, and graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1960. Prior to receiving his law degree, he was an army infantry officer and played on the U.S. Amateur Hockey Team (1955, 1957) and the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team (1956).

In 1958, while still in law school, Anderson, a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member, was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, and was re-elected in 1960. He was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1962 and 1966, and was selected as one of two outstanding Minnesota legislators by the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. He also served as chairman of the 1968 Humphrey for President campaign in Minnesota.

Anderson was elected governor of Minnesota in 1970, focusing his campaign on the need to reduce the burden of high property taxes, and to provide local communities--primarily schools--with major nonproperty revenues from the state. He chaired the Democratic Governor's Conference (1974-1975) and was a member of the Democratic National Committee during the same period. He was re-elected governor in 1974, but resigned in December 1976 to accept appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Walter F. Mondale after his election as vice-president. Anderson was defeated by Independent-Republican Rudy Boschwitz in the 1978 general election.

Following his senate service, Anderson remained active in the DFL Party and served for a number of years on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

Anderson's signature accomplishment as governor was helping to create the Minnesota Miracle of 1971, an innovative reform in financing of Minnesota public schools and local governments that created a fairer distribution in taxation and education.

Nearly the entire DFL ticket was defeated in 1978, including Gov. Rudy Perpich and the candidates for both U.S. Senate seats. Anderson's arranging for his own appointment to the Senate and Perpich's role in it were factors in their defeats.

Anderson was drafted by the Minnesota Fighting Saints in the inaugural World Hockey Association draft in 1972. While flattered, Anderson chose to remain Governor.

From 1995 to 2001 he served as a director for and head of the legal committee of Turbodyne Technologies Inc. (TRBD) in Carpinteria, California.

Today, Anderson is regularly called upon to act as a commentator on Minnesota politics for local stations such as KSTP-TV.

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Wendell Richard Anderson, U.S. Senator's Timeline

February 1, 1933
St. Paul, Ramsey, MN, United States
July 17, 2016
Age 83
Saint Paul, MN, United States