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Sigurd Anderson
South Dakota

Gov. Sigurd Anderson

  • January 2, 1951 - January 4, 1955
  • Republican
  • January 22, 1904
  • December 21, 1990
  • Other
  • South Dakota State College, University of South Dakota
  • Married Vivian Walz; one child
  • Navy


SIGURD ANDERSON was born in Arendal, Norway. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of two and became a U.S. citizen six years later when his father naturalized. He studied at South Dakota State College for two years and received a B.A. degree in 1931 and an LL.B. in 1937 from the University of South Dakota. While in college and law school, he taught high school, and after receiving his degrees he went on to practice law in Webster, South Dakota. From 1939 to 1941 he served as State’s Attorney for Day County, and from 1941 to 1943 he was Assistant Attorney General of South Dakota. After serving in the Navy for three years during World War II, he was elected Attorney General, serving from 1947 until 1951, when he became governor. During Anderson’s two gubernatorial terms, the salaries of state employees were increased and pension benefits were extended to Korean War veterans. In addition, the state sales tax was reduced and highway construction expanded. Anderson served as chairman of the Missouri River States Committee during his first term, and the state’s rural credit debt was retired during his second term. After leaving office, he became a member of the Federal Trade Commission. In 1964 he returned to Webster to practice law, and three years later he was appointed Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of South Dakota, where he remained until his retirement in 1975.


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

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. H. New York: James T. White & Company.

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