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Luther Wallace Youngdahl

Gov. Luther Wallace Youngdahl

  • January 8, 1947 - September 8, 1951
  • Republican
  • May 29, 1896
  • June 21, 1978
  • Minnesota
  • Gustavus Adolphus College; University of Minnesota
  • Married Irene Annet Engdahl; three children
  • Resigned
  • Army


LUTHER W. YOUNGDAHL, the twenty-seventh governor of Minnesota, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 29, 1896. His education was attained at Gustavus Adolphus College, where he graduated in 1919, and at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a law degree in 1921. After serving in World War I, Youngdahl established a successful career in the legal field. He was the assistant city attorney of Minnesota from 1921 to 1924, served on the bench of the Minnesota Municipal Court from 1930 to 1936, and was an associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1942 to 1946. Youngdahl next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 5, 1946. He was reelected to a second term in 1948, and to a third term in 1950. During his tenure, increased funding was secured for public education; gambling machines were banned; segregation in the National Guard was eliminated; a mental health act was sanctioned; and a telephone strike was dealt with, as well as a packinghouse strike. After securing a federal judgeship, Governor Youngdahl resigned from office on September 8, 1951. From 1951 to 1978, he served on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, serving as senior justice from 1966 to 1978. Governor Luther W. Youngdahl passed away on June 21, 1978, and was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.


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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