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Spear, Allan H.


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Map of Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN

Senate 1973-82 (District 57); Senate 1983-92 (District 59); Senate 1993-2000 (District 60)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus

Counties Served:  Hennepin

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 6/24/1937 Date of Death: 10/11/2008
Birth Place: Michigan City, Indiana Birth County:  Birth Country: United States
Other Names:
Gender:  Male Religion:  Jewish
City of Residence (when first elected):  Minneapolis

Occupation (when first elected):  Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota

EDUCATION

Oberlin College, Ohio; B.A.; 1958
Yale University; M.A.; 1960
Yale University; Ph.D.; History, 1965
Oberlin College, Ohio; LL.D.; Honorary Degree

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/CouncilMinnesota Historical Society (Member) ??/??/19?? to ??/??/????
State Board/Commission/CouncilMinnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure BoardAppointed01/04/2001 to 12/??/2003

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse/Partner: Single; Junjiro Tsuji (around 1987)
Children:
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: criminal law/justice, corrections, law reform, human rights, human services, consumer protection.

He was the first openly homosexual member of the Minnesota Legislature (he acknowledged that he was gay while he was in office on December 9, 1974). He was the longest serving openly gay state legislator in the United States when he retired in 2000. He was one of the first openly gay state legislators in the United States.

He was the first nonlawyer to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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

He died, in a hospital, of complications following heart surgery. His funeral was held on November 23, 2008 at Temple Israel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

He was a member of the Shir Tikvah Synagogue Board.

Religion provided by the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Total Days Served: 10228

SESSIONS SERVED

Legislative Session: 81st (1999-2000) (second half of Senate term)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/5/1996 Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
District: 60 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Commerce
Commerce Subcommittee: Consumer Protection and Regulated Industries
Crime Prevention (Chair)
Human Resources Finance
Judiciary
Judiciary/Crime Prevention/Human Resources Finance Subcommittee: Crime Prevention and Judiciary Budget Division
Rules and Administration
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Bill Referral
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Permanent and Joint Rules
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Personnel
Leadership Position: President of the Senate

Legislative Session: 80th (1997-1998)   Session Details term photo
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Body: Senate Elected: 11/5/1996 Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
District: 60 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Commerce
Commerce Subcommittee: Consumer Protection and Regulated Industries
Crime Prevention (Chair)
Human Resources Finance
Judiciary
Judiciary/Crime Prevention/Human Resources Finance Subcommittee: Crime Prevention and Judiciary Budget Division
Rules and Administration
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Bill Referral
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Permanent and Joint Rules
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Personnel
Leadership Position: President of the Senate

Legislative Session: 79th (1995-1996) (second half of Senate term)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/3/1992 Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
District: 60 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
Crime Prevention (Chair)
Crime Prevention Subcommittee: Crime Prevention Finance Division
Finance
Gaming Regulation
Judiciary
Rules and Administration
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Bill Referral
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Permanent and Joint Rules
Leadership Position: President of the Senate

Legislative Session: 78th (1993-1994)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/3/1992 Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
District: 60 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Crime Prevention (Chair)
Crime Prevention Subcommittee: Crime Prevention Finance Division
Finance
Gaming Regulation
Judiciary
Rules and Administration
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Bill Referral
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Permanent and Joint Rules
Leadership Position: President of the Senate

Legislative Session: 77th (1991-1992)   Session Details term photo
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Body: Senate Elected: 11/6/1990 Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
District: 59 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Commerce
Commerce Subcommittee: Banking
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Health and Human Services Division
Gaming Regulation
Judiciary (Chair)
Judiciary Subcommittee: Criminal Law Division
Rules and Administration
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Permanent and Joint Rules

Legislative Session: 76th (1989-1990) (second half of Senate term)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/4/1986 Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
District: 59 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Commerce
Commerce Subcommittee: Consumer Protection
Commerce Subcommittee: Regulated Industries
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Health and Human Services Division
Judiciary (Chair)
Judiciary Subcommittee: Criminal Law Division
Rules and Administration
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Permanent and Joint Rules

Legislative Session: 75th (1987-1988)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/4/1986 Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
District: 59 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Commerce
Commerce Subcommittee: Consumer Protection
Commerce Subcommittee: Regulated Industries
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Health and Human Services Division
Judiciary (Chair)
Judiciary Subcommittee: Criminal Law Division
Rules and Administration
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees
Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Permanent and Joint Rules

Legislative Session: 74th (1985-1986) (second half of Senate term)   Session Details term photo
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Body: Senate Elected: 11/2/1982 Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
District: 59 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Health and Human Services
Governmental Operations
Judiciary (Chair)
Judiciary Subcommittee: Civil Law
Judiciary Subcommittee: Criminal Law
Public Utilities and State Regulated Industries
Public Utilities and State Regulated Industries Subcommittee: Gaming and Investigations
Public Utilities and State Regulated Industries Subcommittee: Regulated Industries
Rules and Administration

Legislative Session: 73rd (1983-1984)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/2/1982 Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
District: 59 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Health and Human Services
Governmental Operations
Judiciary (Chair)
Judiciary Subcommittee: Civil Law
Judiciary Subcommittee: Criminal Law
Public Utilities and State Regulated Industries
Public Utilities and State Regulated Industries Subcommittee: Gaming and Investigations
Public Utilities and State Regulated Industries Subcommittee: Regulated Industries
Rules and Administration

Legislative Session: 72nd (1981-1982)   Session Details term photo
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Body: Senate Elected: 11/4/1980 Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
District: 57 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Commerce
Commerce Subcommittee: Publicly Regulated Industries
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Health, Welfare and Corrections
Finance Subcommittee: State Departments
Judiciary
Judiciary Subcommittee: Law Revision
Judiciary Subcommittee: Real Estate Law (Chair)
Public Employees and Pensions (Chair)
Rules and Administration

Legislative Session: 71st (1979-1980) (second half of Senate term)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/2/1976 Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/5/1981
District: 57 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Commerce
Commerce Subcommittee: Consumer Protection (Chair)
Commerce Subcommittee: Insurance
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: Computers
Finance Subcommittee: Health, Welfare and Corrections (Chair)
Finance Subcommittee: State Departments
Judiciary
Judiciary Subcommittee: Criminal Law (Chair)
Judiciary Subcommittee: Judicial Administration (Chair)
Session Notes: He became Chair of the Finance Committee's Health, Welfare and Corrections Subcommittee after B. Robert Lewis died. He was the Chair of the Judiciary Committee's Criminal Law Subcommittee in 1979 only.

Legislative Session: 70th (1977-1978)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/2/1976 Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/5/1981
District: 57 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
Commerce
Commerce Subcommittee: Consumer Protection and Economic Development (Chair)
Finance
Finance Subcommittee: State Departments
Judiciary
Judiciary Subcommittee: Judicial Administration (Chair)

Legislative Session: 69th (1975-1976) (second half of Senate term)   Session Details
Body: Senate Elected: 11/7/1972 Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
District: 57 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
Health, Welfare and Corrections
Health, Welfare and Corrections Subcommittee: Adult Corrections
Health, Welfare and Corrections Subcommittee: Corrections
Judiciary
Judiciary Subcommittee: Public Law Reform
Labor and Commerce
Labor and Commerce Subcommittee: Labor

Legislative Session: 68th (1973-1974)   Session Details term photo
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Body: Senate Elected: 11/7/1972 Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
District: 57 Residence: Minneapolis
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Associate Professor of History, University of Minnesota
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
Education
Education Subcommittee: Junior College Faculty Reduction (Chair)
Education Subcommittee: School Finance
Education Subcommittee: Teacher Preparation, Standards and Certification
Health, Welfare and Corrections
Health, Welfare and Corrections Subcommittee: Corrections
Labor and Commerce
Labor and Commerce Subcommittee: Labor

Articles & Books By
Spear, Allan H. Crossing the Barriers: The Autobiography of Allan H. Spear. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Spear, Allan H. Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto, 1890-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967.


Articles & Books About
"Spear, Allan H. (Obituary)." Saint Paul Pioneer Press, October 19, 2008, p. B6.

Olson, Jeremy. "1st Openly Gay State Senator Championed Civil Rights." St. Paul Pioneer Press, Otober 13, 2008, p. 1A, 8A.

Tevlin, Jon. "Senator, in Championing Justice, Saw Role Beyond That of Pioneer; Allan Spear 1937-2008." StarTribune, October 13, 2008, p. B1, B5.




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