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Stream the State of the State address and Democratic response

Former U.S. Rep. Martin Olav Sabo dies

Martin Sabo

Former U.S. Rep. and Speaker of the Minnesota House Martin Sabo has died, according to Mike Erlandson, a former staff member.

Sabo was a titan in Minnesota politics, serving in the Minnesota House from 1961-79 and then 14 terms in the U.S. House representing the 5th Congressional District. He retired in 2007. He was a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor-Party.

Sabo was 78 years old.  Sabo served as Speaker of the Minnesota House from 1973-78.

He was born in North Dakota. He graduated from Augsburg College and in 1960 he was elected to the House at age 22.

U.S. Sen Amy Klobuchar called Sabo a friend and mentor.

"At a time when our politics has become increasingly coarse, Martin knew how to be strong but civil, effective but kind.  In his quiet Scandinavian way, he was a fierce progressive who got things done for his district and our state. And whether it was playing on the congressional softball team or bringing home the funding for a road or a housing project, Martin Sabo truly enjoyed his work.," Klobuchar said in a statement.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman issued a statement about Sabo:

"Congressman Sabo represented the best in Minnesota politics. A man of few words, he led by example. He understood that being a leader, whether Speaker of the Minnesota House or Chair of the U.S. House Budget Committee, meant bringing people together around important work."

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