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Jesse Ventura

Gov. Jesse Ventura

  • January 4, 1999 - January 6, 2003
  • Minnesota Independence Party
  • July 15, 1951
  • Minnesota
  • North Hennepin Community College
  • Married Teresa "Terry" Larson; two children
  • Navy


JESSE VENTURA was born in Minneapolis and is a 1969 graduate of Roosevelt High School. He served in the Navy for six years – four on active duty, two in the Naval Reserves – and he is a Vietnam veteran. While on active duty, he was a member of Underwater Demolition (SEAL) Team 12. After his discharge, he attended North Hennepin Community College and then began an 11-year career as a professional wrestler. He served as mayor of Brooklyn Park from 1991 to 1995. He has worked as a professional broadcaster for 11 years and an actor for 11 years. He is an active, vested member of the Screen Actors Guild. He is also a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. As governor, he spearheaded several important initiatives, most notably the sales tax rebate. In each year of his administration, Minnesotans received a tax-free check in late summer. In November 1999, he led a delegation to Japan, where he secured a lucrative market for pork sold by a cooperative of small Minnesota farmers. In the fall of 2000, the governor took a trade mission to Mexico, where he, cabinet members, and Minnesota business people established key contacts with the Mexican president, local businesses. Governor Ventura was instrumental in decreasing class sizes through education funding and increasing affordable housing opportunities in Minnesota.

Recent Minnesota Governors