George Albert Sinner

Born May 19, 1928
North Dakota Governor 1985-1992

George Sinner was born in Fargo and raised in Casselton. In 1946 he graduated from Saint John’s Preparatory School, a college prep boarding school in Collegeville, Minn,. and in 1950, he earned a degree in philosophy from St. John’s University, Collegeville. He served in the U.S. Air Force ??wikipedia says U.S. Air National Guard?? from 1951 to 1952. Following his service, he became a partner in the Sinner Brothers and Bresnahan diversified farm at Casselton.

Sinner began his political career in the late 1950s. He was elected to the N.D. Senate in 1962 on the Democratic Nonpartisan League ticket, served one four-year term and lost his re-election bid. During that time, he lost a race for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sinner was president of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association Board from 1975 to 1979. During that time, he chaired an ad hoc farm commodity group which was responsible for funding and construction of the greenhouse complex and the Northern Crops Institute at North Dakota State University (NDSU). He also served on a variety of professional, educational and civic boards, including the N.D. Board of Higher Education, the N.D. Public Broadcasting Council, the Greater North Dakota Association board, the N.D. American Soybean Association, N.D. Farmers’ Union and the N.D. Farm Bureau. During his time on the State Board of Higher Education, he helped craft the “Tri-College” system, a consortium of NDSU, Minnesota State University Moorhead and Concordia College, Moorhead. This program allows students attending one of the schools to take classes not offered there at one of the other universities.

Sinner became North Dakota’s governor in 1985 and served two four-year terms. During his administration, there was a farm crisis in North Dakota caused by the worst droughts since the Great Depression and the state celebrated its centennial. There was some reorganization in state government, particularly in the Economic Development Commission. Sinner served as co-chair of the US-Canada Task Force of the National Governor’s Association and chair of the Association’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

Following his second term as North Dakota governor, Sinner served as vice president of public and government relations for the Crystal Sugar Company, Moorhead, Minn. Throughout his career, he remained active in his farming operation near Casselton. Sinner has received honorary doctorate degrees from NDSU, the University of North Dakota and his alma mater, St. John’s University. George and his wife Jane live in Fargo.

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