Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature
Skip Navigation Links > > >

Anderson, Wendell Richard "Wendy"

House 1959-62 (District 37); Senate 1963-66 (District 49); Senate 1967-70 (District 44)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  Ramsey

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 2/1/1933
Birth Place: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Birth County: Ramsey
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 7/17/2016
Gender: Male
Religion:
Other Names: Wendy
City of Residence (when first elected): Saint Paul
Occupation (when first elected): Law Student

EDUCATION

Johnson High School, St. Paul; Secondary; Graduate
University of Minnesota; B.A.; 1954
Attended Graduate School; History
University of Minnesota, Law School; LL.B.; 1960; Admitted to the Minnesota Bar, 1960

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Military: United States Army Reserves (Intelligence Unit); 19?? to 19??
Military: United States Army (Infantry Officer); 1956 to 1957
State Governor: Minnesota; 01/04/1971 to 12/29/1976 [Elected]
U.S. Senator: Minnesota; 12/30/1976 to 12/29/1978 [Appointed]
Board of Regents: University of Minnesota, 6th Congressional District; 03/19/1985 to 1997

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Single (when first elected); Mary Christine McKee Anderson (married August 11, 1963)
Children: Three children: Amy, and Elizabeth (daughters); Brett (son)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:
John Henry McKee, Sr.  - Father-in-Law

GENERAL NOTES

He resigned as Governor of Minnesota to replace Walter Mondale in the United States Senate.

He ran and lost as the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate in 1978.

He represented the United States in the 1956 Olympic Games (hockey) at Cortina, Italy.

He was a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and chairman of the 1976 Democratic National Convention platform committee.

He had struggled with Alzheimer's for some time before dying of pneumonia while in hospice in St. Paul (Star Tribune obit).

He arranged to have his body donated to the University of Minnesota for medical research (Pioneer Press obit).

His memorial service was held on Monday, August 15 at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church (5025 Knox Avenue, Minneapolis).

Total Days Served: 4382

SESSIONS SERVED

66th Legislative Session (1969-1970) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 44
Elected: 11/8/1966
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/1967 to 1/4/1971
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "Sen. Wendell Anderson, Liberal-St. Paul…" (St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 31, 1967)
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Elections and Reapportionment
  • Finance
  • Judiciary
  • Labor
  • Public Highways

65th Legislative Session (1967-1968)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 44
Elected: 11/8/1966
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/1967 to 1/4/1971
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "Sen. Wendell Anderson, Liberal-St. Paul…" (St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 31, 1967)
Committees:
  • Commerce
  • Election and Reapportionment
  • Finance
  • Judiciary
  • Labor
  • Public Highways

64th Legislative Session (1965-1966) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 49
Elected: 11/6/1962
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/1963 to 1/2/1967
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Cities of the First Class
  • General Legislation
  • Judiciary
  • Labor
  • Public Welfare

63rd Legislative Session (1963-1964)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 49
Elected: 11/6/1962
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/1963 to 1/2/1967
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Cities of the First Class
  • Judiciary
  • Labor
  • Public Buildings
  • Public Welfare

62nd Legislative Session (1961-1962)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 37
Elected: 11/8/1960
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/1961 to 1/7/1963
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Appropriations
  • Cities of the First and Second Class
  • Employees Compensation
  • Judiciary
  • Motor Vehicles

61st Legislative Session (1959-1960)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 37
Elected: 11/4/1958
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/6/1959 to 1/2/1961
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Law Student
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Cities of the First and Second Class
  • Education
  • Judiciary
  • Law Enforcement and Crime Prevention
  • University
  • Veterans and Military Affairs
Articles & Books About
Hamilton, Billy. "Wendell Anderson and the 'Minnesota Miracle'." State Tax Notes, Vol. 81, No. 6, August 8, 2016, p. 441-445.

Coolican, Patrick and Walsh, Paul. "'Miracle' Maker Left Mark on State: Ex-Governor's Property Tax Deal Became Symbol of Government that Works." Star Tribune, July 18, 2016.

Dornfeld, Steve. "Wendell Anderson: A Shooting Star who Fell to Earth." MinnPost, July 18, 2016.

Roberts, Sam. "Wendell Anderson, Former Governor Behind the 'Minnesota Miracle,' Dies at 83." New York Times, July 18, 2016.

Salisbury, Bill. "Former Gov. Wendell Anderson, Regent, 'Minnesota Miracle' Architect, Dies." Pioneer Press, July 17, 2016.

"Anderson, Wendell R." Star Tribune, August 7, 2016.

Anderson, Wendell Richard. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Wendell R. (Richard) Anderson. Biographical Information from the Minnesota Historical Society's Governors of Minnesota.


Archive Collections
Wendell R. Anderson Papers, 1960-1978 - Available in the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections