Harvey Vollman, former governor of South Dakota, has died at the age of 87

Pierre, SD – Former South Dakota Gov. Harvey Vollman died Tuesday, his family announced. He was 87 years old.

Vollman was born in 1935, a native of Spink County. From there, he attended Doland High School and eventually graduated in 1953. After helping his parents on their family farm, Vollman attended Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota for a year and eventually returned to the farm to attend Huron College. There, Vollmann eventually met his wife, Anna.

Vollman later served two years in the United States Army, traveling to Germany with the Third Armored Division. After that, he taught at his high school, Doland High School.

He entered politics in 1968, successfully running for the state Senate. Vollman was elected to three consecutive terms and was eventually elected Senate Minority Leader and Majority Leader. In 1978, former governor Richard Knipe selected him as lieutenant governor.

In 1978, he became governor after Kneipp was appointed as ambassador to Singapore. Vollman was the last Democrat to serve as governor of South Dakota, and he was sworn in in July 1978.

While in the legislature, Vollman sponsored legislation to create the South Dakota Investment Council. Today, the organization manages more than $18 billion in state-owned assets. In addition, Vollman was the primary sponsor of a bill that established a four-year undergraduate medical school at the University of South Dakota.

After serving as governor for more than five months, Vollman was named Assistant Secretary of the Army by former President Jimmy Carter. He served on a number of boards throughout his life.

In 2017, Vollman was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

Vollman and his wife Ann had three children; Christine, Michael and Daniel. Together they have seven grandchildren. Vollman is survived by his wife and three children.

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