ALLEN I. OLSON was born in Rolla, North Dakota, in 1938. He received his undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of North Dakota. He entered the U.S. Army in 1963 as a lawyer in the Judge Advocates General’s Corps. Stationed in Washington, D.C., and later in West Germany, Olson handled cases at both the trial and appellate levels. His last assignment was chief of military justice for a major overseas command. In 1967, Olson returned to North Dakota and became assistant director of the Legislative Council, where he directed research on North Dakota’s first study of strip mining, soil banks, and land reclamation. He entered private practice law in 1969. In 1972, he was elected North Dakota’s attorney general and he was reelected in 1976. Be became Governor of North Dakota in January 1981. After leaving the governor’s office, Olson returned to private practice joining the Minneapolis law firm of Fredrikson and Byron. In 1987, he left the law firm to become a co-owner of an alloy die-casting company in New Hope, Minnesota. He also served as President/CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of Minnesota, and was appointed by President George W. Bush to the International Joint Commission.
This searchable database identifies former governors by state and dates of service. The governors' biographies available on the NGA website provide summary biographical information only and are edited infrequently.