American politician and member of the Republican Party who was the 27th and 30th Governor of South Dakota as well as a U.S. Congressman from the state.
He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1964 with a BS in business administration; he also earned a law degree there in 1966 before working as a Legal Services lawyer for six years on the Rosebud Indian Reservation.
He held the record for the longest tenure as Governor of South Dakota with 16 years in office; he resigned in 2004 after being convicted of manslaughter for his role in an automobile accident.
His father was a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials in Germany, where he died suddenly of a heart attack. He was married to Mary Dead Thom.
He and John Thune both became well-known politicians from South Dakota.