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Arthur Albert Link
North Dakota

Gov. Arthur Albert Link

  • January 2, 1973 - January 6, 1981
  • Democratic
  • May 14, 1914
  • June 1, 2010
  • North Dakota
  • North Dakota State University
  • Married Grace Johnson; six children
  • Representative


ARTHUR A. LINK was born in Alexander, North Dakota, on May 24, 1914. He attended North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University) before beginning a long career in public service. Link served as a member of the Randolph Township Board for 28 years and the McKenzie County Welfare Board for 21 years. He was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives as a Nonpartisan League member of the Republican Party in 1947, but in 1956 Link and other members of the Nonpartisan League switched to the Democratic Party. In 1965 he was elected speaker of the house. He chaired the State Advisory Council for Vocational Education from 1969 to 1971. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1970. Elected Governor of North Dakota in 1972 and reelected in 1976, Link favored careful management of the state’s natural resources — particularly when the energy crisis caused controversy between those who wished to exploit North Dakota’s coal and oil and those who wished to protect the state’s environment. North Dakota’s agricultural community prospered during Link’s administration. Income and property tax laws were reformed by the legislature, but he vetoed a reapportionment bill. Governor Link promoted foreign and domestic trade. He was a strong supporter of the North Dakota Heritage Center, and in 1985 he was appointed chair of the Centennial Commission by Governor George Sinner. Exploration of North Dakota’s great mineral wealth was a big issue during Governor Link’s administration and the governor advocated a conservative policy of coal and oil development. During his tenure, Governor Link chaired the Midwestern Governors’ Conference. He was a charter member of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.


Governors of the American States, Commonwealths and Territories, National Governors' Conference, 1979.

Records of State Historical Society of North Dakota, State Archives

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