Former Minnesota Gov. Wendell Anderson Dies
Former Minnesota Gov. Wendell Anderson, a Democrat who was seen as embodying his state when he posed for an iconic Time magazine cover only to lose public confidence by arranging his own appointment to the U.S. Senate, has died. He was 83.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s office says Anderson died Sunday in hospice care in St. Paul.
Anderson was elected governor in 1970. Time featured the handsome former Olympic hockey player in a glowing 1973 story about Minnesota, calling him “a Midwestern Kennedy.” At the height of his popularity in 1974, Anderson beat his Republican challenger by better than a 2-to-1 margin.
Anderson’s downfall was taking the Senate seat of newly elected Vice President Walter Mondale in 1976. Voters never forgave him for claiming Mondale’s seat by appointment, a move that required him to quit as governor. Voters decisively rejected Anderson in favor of Republican Rudy Boschwitz in 1978.