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Elmer Lee Andersen

Gov. Elmer Lee Andersen

  • January 2, 1961 - March 20, 1963
  • Republican
  • June 17, 1909
  • November 15, 2004
  • Illinois
  • University of Minnesota
  • Married Eleanor Johnson; three children


ELMER L. ANDERSEN, the thirtieth governor of Minnesota, was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 17, 1909. His education was attained at Muskegon Junior College and at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a business degree in 1931. He established a successful career with the H.B. Fuller Company, first working in the marketing department and eventually becoming the owner and president of the company. Andersen entered politics in 1949, serving as a member of the Minnesota State Senate, a position he held ten years. He next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 8, 1960. During his tenure, a fair housing bill was sanctioned; a statewide sanitary law was authorized; highway safety measures were initiated; and a governmental ethics act was instituted. After running unsuccessfully for reelection in a very close race, Andersen left office on March 15, 1963. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a delegate to the 1964 Republican National Convention, as well as serving as the chairman of the Minnesota Constitutional Study Commission. Andersen later went into the publishing business. He combined two newspapers into the Princeton Union-Eagle, and purchased ECM Publishing, which produced twenty newspapers a week. Governor Elmer L. Andersen passed away on November 15, 2004 and was buried in the Hillside Cemetery in Minneapolis.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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