BOB HOLDEN was born in Kansas City and grew up on a farm in south-central Missouri near Birch Tree. In 1973 he graduated from Southwest Missouri State University with a political science degree. He is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Flemming Fellow Leadership Institute. Holden began his public service career in 1976, serving as assistant to the state treasurer. In 1983 he was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives and served three terms. In 1992 he was elected state treasurer and reelected to a second term, becoming the first treasurer in state history to earn $1 billion in interest from investments. He also worked to enact the nationally recognized program, Missouri Saving for Tuition (MO$T), to help families save for their children’s future. In 2000 Holden was elected Missouri’s fifty-third governor. During his term, he led the fight for Missouri’s children, working to increase funding for public schools. Passage of his Senior Rx program has enabled low-income Missouri seniors to gain coverage for their prescription drug costs. Holden worked with bipartisan leaders to pass a comprehensive nursing-home reform bill, enforcing fines and increasing the quality of care. In addition, he expanded access to women’s health care, reduced the blood alcohol limit to 0.08 for drivers, established individual school report cards, increased childhood services, and made a key commitment to the life sciences. Holden has served as the dean of the American Legion Boys State Legislative School, an honorary board member of the Boys and Girls Town of Missouri, and a national board member of the Parents as Teachers organization. After completing his tenure as Missouri’s governor, Holden returned to the private sector, but remains involved in politics as chairman of the Holden Group and serves as a visiting professor at Webster University.
Official Manual of the State of Missouri (2005-2006)
Previous editions are not available online, but are in hard copy in the State Archives.