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Martin Olav Sabo

Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame
1994 Inductee

Martin Olav Sabo (February 28, 1938 – March 13, 2016) was an American democratic politician. Sabo was born in Crosby, ND, to Norwegian immigrant parents and moved to Minnesota as a youth. Sabo was elected to the Minnesota house of Representatives in 1960 at the young age of 22. He continued his state legislature career for 17 years before being elected to the U.S. Congress, where he was elected 13 times without serious opposition.

In 2006, Sabo announced he would not run for reelection for the 110th Congress, ending his 46 years as an elected official, including 28 years in Congress — the second-longest tenure in either house of Congress in the state’s history. The New York Times stated Sabo was “a longtime Minnesota congressman whose quiet Scandinavian demeanor conveyed a sense of civility during increasingly partisan times in Washington.”

In 2016, Sabo, a longtime smoker, was hospitalized and succumbed to breathing issues.