Hubert Humphrey

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Hubert Humphrey
38th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1965 – January 20, 1969
PresidentLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byLyndon B. Johnson
Succeeded bySpiro Agnew
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 13, 1978
Preceded byEugene McCarthy
Succeeded byMuriel Humphrey
In office
January 3, 1949 – December 30, 1964
Preceded byJoseph H. Ball
Succeeded byWalter Mondale
14th United States Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 1961 – December 30, 1964
Preceded byMike Mansfield
Succeeded byRussell B. Long
1st Deputy President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
PresidentSen. James Eastland
Preceded byNone
Succeeded byGeorge J. Mitchell (1987)
35th Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
In office
July 2, 1945 – November 30, 1948
Preceded byMarvin L. Kline
Succeeded byEric G. Hoyer
Personal details
BornMay 27, 1911
Wallace, South Dakota
DiedJanuary 13, 1978 (aged 66)
Waverly, Minnesota
Political partyMinnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Spouse(s)Muriel Buck Humphrey
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota, Drew College of Pharmacy and Louisiana State University

Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. (May 27, 1911 – January 13, 1978) was an American politician. He was the thirty-eighth Vice President of the United States from 1965 to 1969, under Lyndon B. Johnson.


Early life

Humphrey was born in a room over his father's drugstore in Wallace, South Dakota.[1] He was the son of Ragnild Kristine Sannes (1883–1973), a Norwegian immigrant, and Hubert Humphrey, Sr. (1882–1949). Humphrey spent most of his childhood in Doland, South Dakota, on the Dakota prairie; the town's population was about 600 people when he lived there. His father was a licensed pharmacist who was mayor and a town council member.[2] In the late 1920s a severe economic decline hit Doland; both of the town's banks closed and Humphrey's father fought to keep his drugstore business open.[3]

After his son graduated from Doland's high school, Hubert Humphrey, Sr. left Doland and opened a new drugstore in the larger town of Huron, South Dakota; a population of 11,000 people, where he hoped to improve his fortunes. Because of the family's financial struggles, Humphrey had to leave the University of Minnesota after just one year. He earned a pharmacist's license from the Capitol College of Pharmacy in Denver, Colorado (completing a two-year licensure program in just six months), and spent years from 1931 to 1937 helping his father run the family drugstore.[4] Over time the Humphrey Drug Company became a financial gain business and the family again succeeded.

Humphrey did not enjoy working as a pharmacist, and his dream was to earn a doctorate in political science and become a college professor. In 1937 he returned to the University of Minnesota and earned a bachelor's degree in 1939. He was a member of Phi Delta Chi Fraternity.[5] He also earned a master's degree from Louisiana State University in 1940, serving as an assistant instructor of political science. One of his classmates was Russell B. Long, who would become a U.S. Senator from Louisiana. He then became an instructor and doctoral student at the University of Minnesota from 1940 to 1941 (joining the American Federation of Teachers), and was a supervisor for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Humphrey soon became active in Minneapolis politics, and as a result he never finished his PhD.

Political career

Humphrey was a United States Senator from Minnesota twice, and was Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Americans for Democratic Action. He was also mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1945–1949.

1968 election

In 1968, Humphrey was the nominee of the Democratic Party in the United States presidential election but narrowly lost to the Republican nominee, Richard Nixon.


  1. Solberg, Carl (1984); Hubert Humphrey: A Biography; Borealis Books; ISBN 0-87351-473-4. See p.35 .
  2. (Solberg, p. 41)
  3. (Solberg, p. 44)
  4. (Solberg, p. 48)
  5. Phi Delta Chi - Iota

Categories: Vice Presidents of the United States | 1960 United States presidential candidates | 1968 United States presidential candidates | 1972 United States presidential candidates | United States senators from Minnesota | US Democratic Party politicians | Deaths from bladder cancer | 1978 deaths | 1911 births | 20th-century American politicians

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