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Solon, Sam George

House 1971-72 (District 60); Senate 1973-2001 (District 7)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  St. Louis

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 6/25/1931
Birth Place: Duluth, Minnesota
Birth County: St. Louis
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 12/28/2001
Gender: Male
Religion: Greek Orthodox
Other Names:
Former Name: Eliopoulos
City of Residence (when first elected): Duluth
Occupation (when first elected): High School Teacher and Coach

EDUCATION

Duluth Public Schools; Elementary School;
Central High School, Duluth; Secondary; Graduate, 1949
University of Minnesota, Duluth; B.S.; Social Science Teaching, 1958

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Military: United States Army (Korean War, Greek Language Interpreter); 1952 to 1954
Municipal Board/Commission: Duluth, Minnesota (City Alcoholic Beverage Board, Chair); 1967 to 1970
State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board; 1979 to 2001

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Carole (when first elected, divorced, she died in 1991); Paula (remarried, first listed in 1975, divorced in 1988); Yvonne Prettner (remarried, first listed in 1997)
Children: Six children: Jon, Nicholas "Nick" (he died in January 2001, while his dad was in office), and Chris (sons); Dina, Vicki, and Tracey or Tracy (daughters)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
Yvonne Prettner Solon  - Wife

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: health and welfare, education, economic development and jobs, higher education, senior issues, drugs and crime, health insurance, employment.

He was of Greek ancestry.

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

The Solon Campus Center, a student services building, on the University of Minnesota, Duluth campus was named after him.

His parents changed their last name from Eliopoulos to Solon.

He died while in office on December 28, 2001.

He died of malignant melanoma/liver cancer at St. Mary's Medical Center in Duluth, Minnesota. His Greek Orthodox funeral was held at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center Auditorium in Duluth, Minnesota.

He was a member of the Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodx Church in Duluth, Minnesota.

Religion provided by the Catholic Bulletin, 3/21/1975, and the Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1981-82.

Total Days Served: 11316

SESSIONS SERVED

82nd Legislative Session (2001-2002)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/7/2000
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/3/2001 to 12/28/2001 (unfinished term)
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retired Educator, Junior High School Social Studies Teacher
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Commerce: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection and Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Education
  • Education: Higher Education Budget Division
  • Finance
  • Finance: State Government, Economic Development and Judiciary Budget Division
  • Rules and Administration
  • State and Local Government Operations
Reason for unfinished term: Death
Session Notes: He died while in office on December 28, 2001.

81st Legislative Session (1999-2000) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator/Retired Teacher
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Children, Families and Learning
  • Children, Families and Learning/Education Finance: Higher Education Budget Division
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Commerce: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection and Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Health and Family Security
  • Health and Family Security/Human Resources Finance: Health and Family Security Budget Division
  • Rules and Administration
  • State Government Finance

80th Legislative Session (1997-1998)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/5/1996
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/7/1997 to 1/2/2001
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Retired Teacher/Legislator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Children, Families and Learning
  • Children, Families and Learning/Education Finance: Higher Education Budget Division
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Commerce: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection and Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Health and Family Security
  • Health and Family Security/Human Resources Finance: Health and Family Security Budget Division
  • Rules and Administration
  • State Government Finance

79th Legislative Session (1995-1996) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator/Retired Educator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Bills Authored: Chief Author     Author
Committees:
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection (Chair)
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection: Consumer Protection and Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Education
  • Education: Higher Education Division
  • Family Services
  • Health Care: Health Care and Family Services Finance Division
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel

78th Legislative Session (1993-1994)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/3/1992
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/5/1993 to 1/6/1997
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator/Retired Educator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection (Chair)
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection: Consumer Protection and Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce and Consumer Protection: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Education
  • Education: Higher Education Division
  • Family Services
  • Health Care: Health Care and Family Services Finance Division
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel

77th Legislative Session (1991-1992)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/6/1990
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/8/1991 to 1/4/1993
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Legislator/Retired Educator
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Commerce: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection/Regulated Industries (Liquor) - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Employment
  • Finance
  • Finance: Economic and State Affairs Division
  • Finance: Health and Human Services Division
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Social Services
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel
  • Rules and Administration: Senate Budget

76th Legislative Session (1989-1990) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Commerce: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Finance
  • Finance: Health and Human Services Division
  • Finance: State Departments Division
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Social Services and Government Administration
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel

75th Legislative Session (1987-1988)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/4/1986
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/6/1987 to 1/7/1991
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Commerce: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Finance
  • Finance: State Departments Division
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Social Services and Government Administration
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel

74th Legislative Session (1985-1986) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Economic Development and Commerce (Chair)
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Banking
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Consumer Protection
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Economic Development
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Insurance
  • Finance
  • Finance: Health and Human Services
  • Finance: State Departments
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Income Maintenance
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees

73rd Legislative Session (1983-1984)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/2/1982
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/4/1983 to 1/5/1987
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Economic Development and Commerce (Chair)
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Banking
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Consumer Protection
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Economic Development
  • Economic Development and Commerce: Insurance
  • Finance
  • Finance: Health and Human Services
  • Finance: State Departments
  • Health and Human Services
  • Health and Human Services: Income Maintenance
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Committees

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/4/1980
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher, Morgan Park High School
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Banking
  • Finance
  • Finance: Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Finance: State Departments
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration

71st Legislative Session (1979-1980) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Banking (Chair)
  • Finance
  • Finance: Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Finance: State Departments
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections

70th Legislative Session (1977-1978)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher, Morgan Park High School
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Commerce: Banking (Chair)
  • Finance
  • Finance: Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Finance: State Departments
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections

69th Legislative Session (1975-1976) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
  • Education
  • Education: Assessment and Accountability (Chair)
  • Education: Special Programs (Chair)
  • Education: Teacher Preparation, Standards and Certification
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections: Welfare
  • Labor and Commerce
  • Labor and Commerce: Regulated Industries

68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 07
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Teacher
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
  • Education
  • Education: Junior College Faculty Reduction
  • Education: Teacher Preparation, Standards and Certification
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections: Welfare
  • Labor and Commerce
  • Labor and Commerce: Regulated Industries

67th Legislative Session (1971-1972)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 60
Elected: 11/3/1970
Residence: Duluth
Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: High School Teacher and Coach
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Commerce and Economic Development
  • Crime Prevention
  • Higher Education
  • Labor Relations
  • Taxes

Senate Photos

The photos in this collection were scanned from the files of the Minnesota Senate Photographer with the generous help of the Minnesota Digital Library, and are included in the Minnesota Reflections collection.

Articles & Books About
Maeda, David. "Longtime Legislator Passes Away." Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, February 1, 2002, p. 21.

Knutson, David. "Sharing Their Memories of Sam (Obituary)." St. Paul Legal Ledger, January 10, 2002, p. 1, 4.

"Farewell Senator Sam (Obituary)." Mesabi Daily News, January 7, 2002.

"Whether Teacher or Fighter, Solon Made Memories (Obituary Letters)." Duluth News-Tribune, January 6, 2002.

Havens, Chris. "Duluth's Champion Laid to Rest (Obituary)." Duluth News-Tribune, January 6, 2002, p. 1A, 4A.

Thistle, Scott. "Solon Recalled as Humble Friend, Tireless Worker (Obituary)." Duluth News-Tribune, January 6, 2002.

Havens, Chris. "Mourners Pay Respects to Solon (Obituary)." Duluth News-Tribune, January 5, 2002.

"Solon's Passing Likely Ends an Era of Northern Influence (Obituary)." Duluth News-Tribune, December 30, 2001.

Myers, John. "Longtime Lawmaker Dies at 70 (Obituary)." St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 29, 2001.

Myers, John. "Sam Solon, 1931-2001. 'He Never Forgot Duluth' (Obituary)." Duluth News-Tribune, December 29, 2001, p. 1A, 4A.

Whereatt, Robert. "Sam Solon, 29-Year State Senator, Dies at 70 (Obituary)." Star Tribune, December 29, 2001.

"At Home with Sam." Northland Traveler, November/December 2001, p. 4-6.



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