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Archives and Special Collections: Joseph J. Foss Papers

21 linear ft.

Background:

Joseph J. Foss remains an important figure in South Dakota history. He was born on a farm outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota on April 17, 1915. Foss received a business degree from the University of South Dakota in 1940. For his service as a pilot in the United States Marine Corps, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Foss resigned from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1946 and accepted command of the newly formed South Dakota Air National Guard in 1947.

Following his return to South Dakota, Foss was elected as a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1948 and 1952. He served two terms as governor of South Dakota, from 1955-1959. Commissioner of the American Football League, vice-president of Raven Industries, president of the National Rifle Association and president of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults from 1969-1971 are additional professional activities in which Foss was engaged. He hosted his own television show entitled "The Outdoorsman: Joe Foss." Foss, along with his wife Donna Wild Foss, wrote A Proud American: the autobiography of Joe Foss.

Joe Foss died on January 1, 2003.

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of correspondence, manuscript and print materials relating to Foss' term as South Dakota governor from 1955-1959.

Related Subjects:

American Fighter Pilots--United States
Fighter pilots--United States--Biography
Governors--South Dakota
South Dakota--Politics and government
World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations, American
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American 

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