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Norton, Fred C.

House 1967-72 (District 46A); House 1973-87 (District 65A)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  Ramsey

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 8/19/1928
Birth Place: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Birth County: Hennepin
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 10/28/2000
Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Saint Paul
Occupation (when first elected): Lawyer

EDUCATION

University of Minnesota; Attended College; Political Science
Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut; B.A.; 1950
University of Minnesota, Law School; LL.B.; 1955; Admitted to the Minnesota Bar, 1955

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Attorney General Staff: Minnesota Office of the Attorney General (Assistant Attorney General, Taxation Specialist); 1955 to 1966
Judge: Minnesota Court of Appeals (Initially Appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich, First Elected in 1988); 07/01/1987 to 12/31/1997 [Appointed]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Married; Marvel (remarried around 1980, while in office)
Children: Five children: Jeffrey (son, with his first wife), Cynthia and Katharine (daughters, with his first wife); Kelly Jonason and Bill Jonason (stepsons)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

He grew up in Wayzata, Minnesota.

He was a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. "Norton was a liberal..." (Obituary, St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 30, 2000)

He died of bone marrow cancer at home in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. His funeral was held at Christ Lutheran Church in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota.

Religion provided by his obituary.

Total Days Served: 7479

SESSIONS SERVED

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 6/25/1987 (unfinished term)
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Rules and Legislative Administration
  • Taxes
  • Taxes: Tax Law Division
  • Ways and Means (Chair)
Leadership Position: Speaker of the House
Leadership Notes: He resigned on June 25, 1987 before the Special Session began.
Reason for unfinished term: Appointed to other office
Session Notes: He was appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich to serve on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

74th Legislative Session (1985-1986)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/6/1984
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/1985 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Budget
  • Rules and Legislative Administration
  • Taxes
Leadership Position: Minority Leader

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/7/1985
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance: Insurance
  • Governmental Operations (Chair)
  • Governmental Operations: Jobs Creation and Unemployment Issues
  • Governmental Operations: Pensions and Investments
  • Governmental Operations: Personnel and Administration - Ex Officio Member
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Law Reform

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/4/1980
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Governmental Operations (Chair)
  • Governmental Operations: Administration - Ex Officio Member
  • Governmental Operations: Pensions and Investments
  • Governmental Operations: Personnel - Ex Officio Member
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration
  • Rules and Legislative Administration
  • Rules and Legislative Administration: Election Contests (Chair)

71st Legislative Session (1979-1980)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/7/1978
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/1979 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Appropriations (Chair) [He was Chair in 1979 only.]
  • Appropriations: State Departments Division
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Rules and Legislative Administration
Leadership Position: Speaker of the House
Leadership Notes: In May 1979, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party gained majority status. They broke into factions over who to support as Speaker; 26 voted for Fred C. Norton while 42 voted for Irvin N. Anderson. However, 49 Independent Republicans joined the 26 Democratic-Farmer-Labor voters in support of Fred C. Norton. So he became Speaker of the House for the 1980 session.

70th Legislative Session (1977-1978)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/2/1979
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Appropriations (Chair)
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Rules and Legislative Administration

69th Legislative Session (1975-1976)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/5/1974
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/1975 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Appropriations (Chair)
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Rules and Legislative Administration

68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 65A
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/6/1975
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
  • Appropriations (Chair)
  • Financial Institutions and Insurance
  • Rules and Legislative Administration

67th Legislative Session (1971-1972)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 46A
Elected: 11/3/1970
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "Norton was a liberal..." (Obituary, St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 30, 2000)
Committees:
  • Appropriations
  • Environmental Preservation
  • Ethics
  • Governmental Operations
  • Insurance
  • Judiciary

66th Legislative Session (1969-1970)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 46A
Elected: 11/5/1968
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/7/1969 to 1/4/1971
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "Norton was a liberal..." (Obituary, St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 30, 2000)
Committees:
  • Appropriations
  • Cities of the First Class
  • Commerce and Economic Development
  • Governmental Operations
  • Insurance
  • Judiciary

65th Legislative Session (1967-1968)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 46A
Elected: 11/8/1966
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/1967 to 1/6/1969
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "Norton was a liberal…" (Obituary, St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 30, 2000)
Committees:
  • Appropriations
  • Cities of the First Class
  • Civil Administration
  • Claims
  • Judiciary
Articles & Books By
Norton, Fred C. Resume, 1980s.


Articles & Books About
Collins, Terry. "Longtime DFL Legislator and State Appellate Judge Dies at Age 72 (Obituary)." Star Tribune, October 30, 2000, p. B7.

Laszewski, Charles. "F. Norton, 72, Was Legislator and Judge (Obituary)." St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 30, 2000.

Whereatt, Robert. "No Branch of Government Was Left Unserved." Minneapolis Star and Tribune, December 29, 1997, p. B1, B2.

Whereatt, Robert. "Norton Expected to Resign Today, Ending 20 Years in the Legislature." Minneapolis Star and Tribune, June 25, 1987, p. 13A.

Nathanson, Iric. "Party Discipline Controversy Trails Norton as He Leaves House (Opinion)." St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, June 24, 1987.

"A Terrible Way to Appoint New Judges (Editorial)." Minneapolis Star and Tribune, June 2, 1987, p. 8A.

Smith, Dane. "IR Leader Criticizes Norton Appointment." Minneapolis Star and Tribune, May 30, 1987.

"Court of Appeals, Norton Good Pick, But Process Flawed (Editorial)." St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, May 29, 1987, p. 10A.

Chanco, Ben. "Norton Named to Appeals Court. Resigns as House Speaker." St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, May 27, 1987, p. 1A, 4A.


Archive Collections
Fred Norton Papers, 1965-1987 - 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.