Wed, 4 January 2023
March of the Governors, Governor #22
By age thirty, Floyd Bjornstjerne Olson (1891-1936) had been a shabbos goy, a college dropout, a stevedore, and a Wobbly. By age forty, he had served ten years as Hennepin County attorney. In the next five years, he would become one of Minnesota’s most successful politicians – its first Farmer-Labor governor (elected three times), a powerful speaker, the force behind legislation to support suffering farmers and workers during the Depression, and the only Minnesota governor ever to proclaim, “I am a radical.” He toyed with the idea of leading a national Farmer-Labor Party and took aim at a seat in the US Senate in 1936. But it was not to be: Pancreatic cancer took him in his prime at age forty-four.