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Munger, Sr., Willard M.

House 1955-64 (District 59); House 1967-72 (District 59B); House 1973-99 (District 7A)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  St. Louis

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 1/20/1911 Date of Death: 7/11/1999
Birth Place: Fergus Falls, Minnesota Birth County: Otter Tail Birth Country: United States
Other Names:
Gender:  Male Religion:  Evangelical Lutheran
City of Residence (when first elected):  Duluth

Occupation (when first elected):  Retail Trade/Motel Business, Operator

EDUCATION

Fergus Falls High School; Secondary; 1932
University of Minnesota, Duluth; Attended College; Extension

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/CouncilMinnesota Railroad and Warehouse Commission (State Grain Inspection) ??/??/19?? to ??/??/19??
State AgencyMinnesota State Department of Agriculture, Marketing Division (Duluth, Chief of Foods Section, Office of Price Stabilization, Produce Inspector) ??/??/193? to ??/??/19??

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Martha Winter (first wife; she died in 1960, while he was in office); Widower; Frances Hotch (married in 1966; she died in November 1997, while he was in office); Widower
Children: Two children: Patricia "Patsy/Pat" (daughter), and Willard Jr. (son)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

He was the longest serving member of the Minnesota House of Representatives at 42 years, 7 months plus. The record for the greatest number of years served overall for the Minnesota Legislature (both House and Senate service) is shared by Carl M. Iverson, and Anton J. Rockne at 44 years of service. (Donald O. Wright's length of service would be tied with them if his four month service as Lieutenant Governor in late 1954 was counted as legislative service.)

He was born and raised on a farm near Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

He ran unsuccessfully as the Farmer-Labor party endorsed candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives in the 1934 election.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Minnesota House of Representatives in the 1952 election.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Minnesota Senate in the 1964 special election.

He was a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

The Willard Munger bicycle trail in Minnesota was named after him.

He died from liver cancer at the hospice unit in St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. His funeral was held at Our Savior's Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Duluth, Minnesota. He was buried in Oneota Cemetery in West Duluth, Minnesota.

Religion provided by his obituary.


Click to enlarge

Map of Duluth
Duluth, MN
Total Days Served: 15532

SESSIONS SERVED

81st Legislative Session (1999-2000)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/3/1998 Term of Office: 1/5/1999 to 7/11/1999 (unfinished term)
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retired Motel Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Environment and Natural Resources Finance
Environment and Natural Resources Policy
Ways and Means
Reason for unfinished term: Death
Session Notes: He died while in office on July 11, 1999.

80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/5/1996 Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/4/1999
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retired Hotel Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Capital Investment
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Land Sales
Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance
Rules and Legislative Administration

79th Legislative Session (1995-1996)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/8/1994 Term of Office: 1/3/1995 to 1/6/1997
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retired Motel Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Finance
General Legislation, Veterans Affairs and Elections
General Legislation, Veterans Affairs and Elections Subcommittee: Veterans Affairs
Rules and Legislative Administration
Rules and Legislative Administration Subcommittee: Rules

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/3/1992 Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/2/1995
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Finance
Rules and Legislative Administration

77th Legislative Session (1991-1992)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/6/1990 Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Environment and Natural Resources Division
Energy
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Game and Fish
Rules and Legislative Administration

76th Legislative Session (1989-1990)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/8/1988 Term of Office: 1/3/1989 to 1/7/1991
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environment (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Game and Fish
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Solid Waste
Rules and Legislative Administration

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/4/1986 Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/2/1989
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Owner/Retail Store Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Rules and Legislative Administration

74th Legislative Session (1985-1986)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/6/1984 Term of Office: 1/8/1985 to 1/5/1987
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environment

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/2/1982 Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/7/1985
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Owner
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Energy
Energy Subcommittee: Energy and Society
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environment (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Game and Fish
Rules and Legislative Administration

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/4/1980 Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Businessman
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Energy
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Environment (Chair)
Environment and Natural Resources Subcommittee: Game and Fish
Rules and Legislative Administration

71st Legislative Session (1979-1980)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/7/1978 Term of Office: 1/3/1979 to 1/5/1981
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Businessman, Motel Operator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Energy and Utilities
Energy and Utilities Subcommittee: Alternative Energy Systems
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Rules and Legislative Administration

70th Legislative Session (1977-1978)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/2/1976 Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/2/1979
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Business
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Local and Urban Affairs
Rules and Legislative Administration

69th Legislative Session (1975-1976)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/5/1974 Term of Office: 1/7/1975 to 1/3/1977
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Operator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Environment and Natural Resources (Chair)
Local and Urban Affairs
Rules and Legislative Administration

68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/7/1972 Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/6/1975
District: 07A Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Operator
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Environmental Preservation and Natural Resources (Chair)
Metropolitan and Urban Affairs
Rules and Legislative Administration

67th Legislative Session (1971-1972)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/3/1970 Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
District: 59B Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Operator
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Claims
Environmental Preservation
Ethics
Governmental Operations
Metropolitan and Urban Affairs

66th Legislative Session (1969-1970)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/5/1968 Term of Office: 1/7/1969 to 1/4/1971
District: 59B Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Operator
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Cities of the First Class
Claims
Governmental Operations
Land and Water Resources
Metropolitan and Urban Affairs

65th Legislative Session (1967-1968)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/8/1966 Term of Office: 1/3/1967 to 1/6/1969
District: 59B Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Motel Operator
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
Civil Administration
Claims
General Legislation and Veterans Affairs
Metropolitan and Urban Affairs
Recreation and Water Resources

63rd Legislative Session (1963-1964)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/6/1962 Term of Office: 1/8/1963 to 1/4/1965
District: 59 Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retail Trade/Motel Business
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Cities of the 1st and 2nd Class
Metropolitan and Urban Affairs
Recreation and Water Resources
University

62nd Legislative Session (1961-1962)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/8/1960 Term of Office: 1/3/1961 to 1/7/1963
District: 59 Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retail Trade/Motel Business
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Education
Elections (Chair)
Employees Compensation
University

61st Legislative Session (1959-1960)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/4/1958 Term of Office: 1/6/1959 to 1/2/1961
District: 59 Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retail Trade/Motel Business
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Education
Employees Compensation
Labor
Penal Institutions (Chair)
University

60th Legislative Session (1957-1958)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/6/1956 Term of Office: 1/8/1957 to 1/5/1959
District: 59 Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retail Trade/Motel Business
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Cities of the First and Second Class
Education
Employees Compensation
Labor
University

59th Legislative Session (1955-1956)

  Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/2/1954 Term of Office: 1/4/1955 to 1/7/1957
District: 59 Residence: Duluth
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retail Trade/Motel Business, Operator
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
Cities of the First and Second Class
Commerce, Manufacturing and Retail Trade
Education
Employees Compensation
Labor
University

Articles & Books About
Munger, Mark. Mr. Environment: The Willard Munger Story. Minnesota: Cloquet River Press, 2009.

Martin, Grant. "House Faces Future Without Legislative Legend." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, December 1999, p. 19.

Oakes, Larry and Terry Fiedler. "State Legislator Willard Munger, Environmental Activist, Dies (Obituary)." Star Tribune, July 12, 1999, p. A1, A6.

Sweeny, Patrick and Jim Caple. "Willard Muinger, 1911-1999. 'The Dean': an Eternal Legacy (Obituary)." St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 12, 1999, p. 1A, 6A.

Lambert, LeClair Grier. "Reflections." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, April 2, 1999, p. 2.

Martin, Grant. "Pioneer in Environmental Legislation Turns 87 Years Old." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, January 23, 1998, p. 34.

"Friends, Colleagues Honor Munger." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, January 19, 1996, p. 5.

"Munger Goes for Record, Runs for One More Term." St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 6, 1989. - He was incorrect about this becoming the record.


Archive Collections
Willard Munger Papers, 1959-1999 (bulk 1980s-1990s) - Available in the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections.


The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, 645 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN  55155