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Coleman, Nicholas D. "Nick"

Senate 1963-66 (District 45); Senate 1967-72 (District 46); Senate 1973-80 (District 65)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  Ramsey

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 2/23/1925
Birth Place: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Birth County: Ramsey
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 3/5/1981
Gender: Male
Religion:
Other Names: Nick
City of Residence (when first elected): Saint Paul
Occupation (when first elected): Owner, Coleman Advertising Agency

EDUCATION

Cretin High School; Secondary; Graduate
College of St. Thomas; B.A.; Political Science
University of Minnesota; Attended Graduate School;

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Military: United States Navy (World War II); 194? to 194?

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Bridget Rosemarie Finnegan (married in 1949, divorced in the mid-1970s, she died on March 9, 2010); Deborah "Debbie" C. Howell (married in June 1975; she had various editor positions with the Minneapolis and St. Paul newspapers, she died in January 2010)
Children: Seven children: Nicholas "Nick" J.(columnist with the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minneapolis Star Tribune), Patrick "Pat", Brendan, Christopher "Chris" (St. Paul Mayor, elected 2005), and Emmett (sons); Maureen (died at 2), and Meghan (daughters).
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: taxes, welfare, labor, environment, gun control, education.

He was of Irish ancestry.

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

According to the Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1977-78, in 1973 he became the first Democratic Senate Majority Leader in 114 years (since 1858).

He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party endorsement for Minnesota Governor in 1970.

He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party endorsement for the United States Senate in 1978.

He died from leukemia. His body was lain in state in the Minnesota State Capitol.

Most recent term photo
Click to view

Map of Saint Paul
Saint Paul, MN
Total Days Served: 6573

SESSIONS SERVED

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 65
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Advertising Executive; President, Coleman-Goff Advertising
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Elections
  • Rules and Administration (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Bill Scheduling (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Personnel (Chair)
Leadership Position: Majority Leader

70th Legislative Session (1977-1978)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 65
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Advertising Executive; President, Coleman-Goff Advertising
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Elections
  • Rules and Administration (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Bill Scheduling (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Committees (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Late Bills (Joint Rule 2.03)
Leadership Position: Majority Leader

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 65
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: President, Coleman-Goff Advertising
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
  • Committees
  • Rules and Administration (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Interim Commissions (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration Subcommittee: Revisor's (Chair)
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
Leadership Position: Majority Leader

68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 65
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: President, Coleman-Goff Advertising
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
  • Committees
  • Rules and Administration (Chair)
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
Leadership Position: Majority Leader

67th Legislative Session (1971-1972)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 46
Elected: 11/3/1970
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Owner, Coleman Advertising Agency
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Civil Administration
  • Health and Welfare
  • Labor Relations
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
Leadership Position: Minority Leader

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 46
Elected: 11/8/1966
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/1967 to 1/4/1971
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Owner, Coleman Advertising Agency
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Civil Administration and Metropolitan Affairs
  • Civil Administration and Metropolitan Affairs Subcommittee: Metropolitan Problems Division
  • Elections and Reapportionment
  • Labor
  • Public Welfare
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

65th Legislative Session (1967-1968)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 46
Elected: 11/8/1966
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/3/1967 to 1/4/1971
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Owner, Coleman Advertising Agency
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Civil Administration and Metropolitan Affairs
  • Civil Administration and Metropolitan Affairs Subcommittee: Metropolitan Problems Division
  • Election and Reapportionment
  • Labor
  • Public Welfare
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

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

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 45
Elected: 11/6/1962
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/1963 to 1/2/1967
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Owner, Coleman Advertising Agency
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Cities of the First Class
  • Elections and Reapportionment
  • Labor
  • Military Affairs and Civil Defense
  • Public Welfare

63rd Legislative Session (1963-1964)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 45
Elected: 11/6/1962
Residence: Saint Paul
Term of Office: 1/8/1963 to 1/2/1967
Counties Represented: Ramsey
Occupation: Owner, Coleman Advertising Agency
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Cities of the First Class
  • Elections and Reapportionment
  • Military Affairs and Civil Defense
  • Public Buildings
  • Public Welfare

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
Milton, John Watson. For the Good of the Order, Nick Coleman and the High Tide of Liberal Politics in Minnesota, 1971-1981. Ramsey County Historical Society, 2012.

Lacy, Robert. "A Very Fine Fellow from Frogtown. Remembering Nick Coleman - from Many Viewpoints." Minnesota Law and Politics, February/March 2009, p. 12-16.



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