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Martin Olav Sabo (1938 - 2016)

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Martin Olav Sabo (1938 - 2016)

Martin Olav Sabo, longtime Minnesota congressman, died March 13, 2016 at a Minneapolis hospital according to The Associated Press. He was 78.

Karin Mantor, Sabo’s daughter, said her father was admitted for breathing problems a week earlier.

Sabo served 28 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1979 to 2007. He was chairman of the House Budget Committee in 1993 which oversaw the passage of a deficit-reduction bill that paved the way for the federal government’s last balanced budge. He was praised by the Clinton White House for his role in creating the budget surpluses of the late 1990s.

Born February 28, 1938 in Crosby, North Dakota, Sabo’s parents were Norwegian immigrants. He was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives at the age of 22 in 1960. He served as Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1973 – 1979.

He was a Democrat and despite being staunchly liberal, he was known for his fiscal discipline. He was also a founder and co-chairman of the “Friends of Norway Caucus” in Congress and in 2006 was appointed Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.

In 2005 the city of Minneapolis named a pedestrian and bicycle bridge the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge in honor of his service in representing the city and securing funding for many such projects over the years.

He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Ann Lee, their two children and six grandchildren.

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