Top 15 Greatest Minnesotans

19 Mar

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As you know, for the last three or four weeks, I have been writing a weekly blog at the Star-Tribune Your Voices pages. I have enjoyed the experience so far. It allows me to branch out a little bit and talk about other topics besides just the Minnesota Twins and baseball. Yes, it is true. Baseball bloggers do have the ability to think about other topics!! And that is OK.


Anyway, the subject of the article I wrote tonight was inspired by (or blatantly stolen from) Cory Hepola. I coached Cory Hepola from about the time he was eight years old through his 13 year old team. He was one of the good kids with, to no surprise, great parents. Anyway, Cory is now a sports reporter and anchor for WROC-TV in Rochester, NY. I look forward to his reports on the Red Wings this upcoming season. Anyway, he also maintains a blog at Yesterday, he posted a Blog Entry on his Top 10 Famous Minnesotans. I thought that was very interesting topic and something that people could discuss and argue. So, I did a little more research and tried to come up with my own list of Great Minnesotans. I found a list of probably 55-60 Minnesotans (born in MN or lived their formative years in MN). I narrowed that down. The article lists a bunch of Honorable Mention names, and then my Top 15 Greatest Minnesotans.


Please click here to read the article, and be sure to post your Comments there. Please note that comments on that site are moderated for some reason. They will not show up right away, but keep checking back to see if they have been added. I am very interested in people’s thoughts.  


8 Responses to “Top 15 Greatest Minnesotans”

  1. mike wants wins March 19, 2009 at 8:00 am #

    you need to do some serious research on the business and philanthropy side of the greatest list.

    How about Curt Carlons, founder of one of the largest privately held companies around, and all around philanthropist to the U (but a jerk in person).

    How about the family that started and owns Cargill?

    What about the people that started Medtronic?

    That’s with zero seconds of thought.

    This place once had more fortune 500 companies than any metro area outside of NY, and your list woefully lacks any discussion of those types of people (not to mention the many philantropists here).

  2. ask kleiner March 19, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    Am I missing something? No HHH?

  3. SethSpeaks March 19, 2009 at 12:25 pm #

    Hubert Humphrey, I learned, was born and spent most of his youth in South Dakota. He went to college at the University of Minnesota.

  4. Jeff L March 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    Like the list…But I have a few that at least should have been honorable mentions.

    Sports- Bronko Nagurski. He was pretty good. Has an award and a building for him at the U.

    Entertaiment-Terry Gilliam. The only American member or Monty Python and a good director too.

    Business- J. Paul Getty. Getty Oil and for awhile the richest man in the world.

    Politics- Harold Stassen. Youngest Governor of any State at 31, Delegate to the original UN Conference after WWII. Ran for President multiple times, this became a joke. However if he had not resigned as Governor to serve in WWI he may have been able to solidfy his political base and pick up the 1948 GOP nomination and beaten a not overly popular Harry Truman who lost a close race to Tom Dewey.

    Law- Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court Warren Burger and his fellow Minnesota Twin Justice Harry Blackmun. They served together on the court in the 60’s and 70’s.

    That is a few who I would throw out for consideration. Many other actors and singers pop up too. But I think you have the top ones.

  5. Ruth March 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    Hi Seth,
    I’ve been making great use of your Prospect Handbook down here in Florida! Today I saw Aaron Hicks make a great throw from centerfield to the plate and Danny Ortiz have a couple good ABs, one resulting in a double and the other a walk. My votes for the Prospects to Watch are Wilson Ramos, Danny Valencia, Ben Revere, Aaron Hicks, Jason Pridie and Danny Ortiz.

  6. Patrick Stolz March 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    The Star Tribune had a feature devoted to the 100 greatest Minnesotans of the 20th Century. Some of our most influential Minnesotans have come from the the three following fields: Ag Business(Crosby, Washburn, Peavey, Pillsbury, MacMillian, Cargill); Med Tech (Medtronic, 1st open heart surgery; John Najarian); and Theater (Guthrie; August Wilson; several other theaters)

  7. lookatthosetwins March 19, 2009 at 11:31 pm #

    Hey Seth,

    Is it sad that my favorite part of your podcast the other night was when you called the wrong guy and he didn’t speak english?

    All joking aside, that was a very informative podcast. I didn’t realize until listening how little I knew about the rest of the division, and I learned a lot. Also, everyone seemed very objective when making their predictions, except of course the Royals guy.


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