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Blatnik, Jr., John Anton

Senate 1941-46 (District 60)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  St. Louis

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 8/17/1911
Birth Place: Chisholm, Minnesota
Birth County: St. Louis
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 12/17/1991
Gender: Male
Religion:
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Chisholm
Occupation (when first elected): High School Chemistry Teacher, Chisholm/Educational Administrator, St. Louis County Schools

EDUCATION

Chisholm Public Schools; Elementary School;
Chisholm High School; Secondary; Graduate, 1929
University of Chicago; Attended College; Summer 1938
State Teachers College, Winona; B.E.; With Distinction, June 1935
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Attended Graduate School; Minneapolis Campus, Public Administration, 1941-42

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

U.S. Executive Branch: United States Civilian Conservation Corps, Minnesota (Superior National Forest); 1935 to 1937
School Board/Administration: St. Louis County, Minnesota (Assistant Superintendent of Schools); 1939 to 1941
Military: United States Army Air Forces/Corps and the Office of Strategic Services (World War II, Served Overseas, Yugoslavia and Italy; Lieutenant and Captain, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Medal Recipient); 08/1942 to 01/1946
U.S. Representative: 8th Congressional District, Minnesota; 01/03/1947 to 12/31/1974 [Elected]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Single (while in office); Gisela Hager (married on April 9, 1955; divorced); Evelyn Castiglioni (second wife)
Children: Three children (with his first wife, after he left office): Thomas H., Stephanie, and Valerie
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

He was of Yugoslavian ancestry.

He was on active military duty during the 1943 session.

"He championed liberal politics." (Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 18, 1991)

He was a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party when he served in the United States Congress.

The John A. Blatnik bridge between between Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin was named after him in September 1971.

He died, from heart failure, at home in Forest Heights, Maryland.

Total Days Served: 2191

SESSIONS SERVED

54th Legislative Session (1945-1946) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 60
Elected: 11/3/1942
Residence: Chisholm
Term of Office: 1/5/1943 to 1/6/1947
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: High School Chemistry Teacher, Chisholm/Educational Administrator, St. Louis County Schools
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "He championed liberal politics." (Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 18, 1991)
Committees:
  • Corporations
  • Crime and Crime Prevention
  • Drainage
  • Labor
  • Public Institutions and Buildings
  • Soldiers Welfare and Soldiers Home
  • Telephone and Telegraph

53rd Legislative Session (1943-1944)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 60
Elected: 11/3/1942
Residence: Chisholm
Term of Office: 1/5/1943 to 1/6/1947
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: High School Chemistry Teacher, Chisholm/Educational Administrator, St. Louis County Schools
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "He championed liberal politics." (Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 18, 1991)
Committees:
  • Corporations
  • Crime and Crime Prevention
  • Drainage
  • Labor
  • Public Institutions and Buildings
  • Soldiers Welfare and Soldiers Home
  • Telephone and Telegraph
Session Notes: He was on active military duty during the 1943 session.

52nd Legislative Session (1941-1942) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 60
Elected: 11/5/1940
Residence: Chisholm
Term of Office: 1/7/1941 to 1/4/1943 (Special Election)
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: High School Chemistry Teacher, Chisholm/Educational Administrator, St. Louis County Schools
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "He championed liberal politics." (Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 18, 1991)
Committees:
  • Corporations
  • Crime and Crime Prevention
  • Drainage
  • Labor
  • Public Institutions and Buildings
  • Soldiers Bonus and Soldiers Home
  • Telephone and Telegraph
Session Notes: "In 1940, at the age of 29, he became the youngest member ever elected to the Minnesota State Senate." ("John A. Blatnik, 80, Congressman Who Promoted Public Works Bills." New York Times, 12/19/1991) His election date is uncertain due to the special election.
Articles & Books By
John A. Blatnik, Recorded Interview by Joseph E. O’Connor, February 4, 1966, John F. Kennedy Library Oral History Program.


Articles & Books About
Lambert, Bruce. "John A. Blatnik, 80, Congressman Who Promoted Public Works Bills (Obituary)." New York Times, December 19, 1991.

Haas, Cliff. "Former Rep. John Blatnik Dies (Obituary)." Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 18, 1991. - Portions of the article are missing.

Shaffer, David. "Ex-8th District Rep. John Blatnik Dies at 80 (Obituary)." St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 18, 1991.

Op.Atty.Gen., 280D, October 31, 1942. - This Attorney General opinion concerns an elected member who cannot serve because of military duty.

"Blatnik, John Anton, (1911 - 1991)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.


Archive Collections
Blatnik, John Anton, 1911-1991: Guide to Research Collections - From the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
John A. Blatnik Congressional Papers, 1889-1991 (bulk 1947-1974) - Available in the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections