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4 years ago the state of Minnesota lost a great son and  the United States of America lost a great liberal voice.

Paul, you were and will always be one of my heroes.

Paul David Wellstone (July 21, 1944 - October 25, 2002)

Paul David Wellstone was born to Russian immigrants Leon and Minnie Wellstone on July 21, 1944. In 1963 Paul married Sheila Ison, with whom he had three children, David, Marcia, and Mark. At the time of death he had six grandchildren: Cari, Keith, Joshua, Acacia, Sydney, and Matt.

Paul was raised in Arlington, VA and attended Wakefield and Yorktown high schools. An accomplished student and athlete he went on to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he was a champion wrestler. In 1965 he earned his B.A., and four years later was awarded a Ph.D. in Political Science. Soon he accepted a teaching post at Carleton College in Northfield, MN where he taught for 21 years.

In 1990, underdog Senate candidate Paul Wellstone rallied a dynamic volunteer force and traveled throughout Minnesota in his trademark green bus. On election day he was the only Senate challenger that year to unseat an incumbent.

Paul Wellstone's experience as a teacher and community organizer in Minnesota, and his work representing Minnesotans in the Senate provided the framework for his progressive priorities and accomplishments. Minnesotans have a long tradition of electing strong and determined leaders willing to fight for those they represent and Paul Wellstone was proud to stand within this tradition

During his first Senate term Wellstone led legislative battles to make health care more accessible and affordable, and won workers protection to take time from work to care for their families without losing their jobs. He helped raise the minimum wage, successfully fought to protect seniors' pension funds from corporate raiders, and authored historic ethics and lobbying reform measures that forever changed how the people's business is done on Capitol Hill. Wellstone expanded health care coverage for those suffering from mental illness, worked with a bipartisan coalition to write a new farm bill, and blocked harsh bankruptcy reforms unfair to consumers as well as efforts to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. He fought for and secured federal resources for Minnesota schools, and worked tirelessly on behalf of veterans, passing legislation to aid homeless veterans and securing compensation for "atomic veterans" suffering from cancers due to radiation exposure during their military service. He was a leader in efforts to combat violence against women. In 2000, Wellstone joined with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) to pass historic bipartisan legislation to prevent international sex trafficking of women and girls, establishing first-ever penalties for those who enslave and traffic in persons.

Paul Wellstone, his wife Sheila and daughter Marcia along with Mary McEvoy, Will McLaughlin, Tom Lapic, Richard Conry, Michael Guess were killed in a plane crash near Eveleth, Minnesota on October 25, 2002.


UPDATE: Here is a link to The Wellstone Action Fund

The Wellstone Action Fund is the 501c(3) sister organization of Wellstone Action.

The Wellstone Action Fund is committed to continuing the work of Paul and Sheila Wellstone by training and empowering underrepresented communities to engage in civic life.

ANOTHER UPDATE - from the comments, thanks to Norm DePlume a wonderful tribute to Paul

Originally posted to Friar on Wed Oct 25, 2006 at 09:54 AM PDT.

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