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Norman Arthur Erbe

Gov. Norman Arthur Erbe

  • January 12, 1961 - January 17, 1963
  • Republican
  • October 25, 1919
  • June 8, 2000
  • Iowa
  • University of Iowa
  • Married Jacqueline Doran; three children
  • Air Force, Army


NORMAN ARTHUR ERBE, Iowa’s thirty-fifth governor, was born in Boone, Iowa on October 25, 1919. During World War II, he first served as an infantry company commander in the U.S. Army, and then as an Air Force pilot. After his military service, he finished his education. In 1946, he graduated from the University of Iowa, and the following year he earned his law degree. Erbe entered public service in 1952, serving as the county attorney of Boone County; he was also special assistant for the Iowa Highway Commission, a position he held three years. He served as the attorney general of Iowa from 1957 to 1961. Erbe won the 1960 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the governor’s office on January 12, 1961. During his tenure, funding was increased for educational programs; prison improvements were authorized; a federal low rental housing plan was approved; congressional districts were reapportioned; and legislation was passed that permitted Iowa to join the Kerr-Mills medical program. The “liquor-by-the-drink” question, which Erbe remained non-committal on, led to his defeat in his reelection bid. After Erbe left office on January 17, 1963, he retired from politics. He later served as the executive vice president of the National Paraplegia Foundation, and was the regional representative of the Secretary of United States Department of Transportation. Governor Norman A. Erbe passed away on June 8, 2000.



The Political Graveyard

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.

University of Iowa


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