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Martin Olav Sabo ’59

Congressman Martin Olav Sabo ’59 was a lifelong public servant who exemplified the progressive approach and personal integrity that were modeled in his Lutheran upbringing and education.

One year after graduating from Augsburg College, Sabo—then 22—was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. During his tenure, he became the first member of the Democrat-Farmer-Labor party to serve as Speaker of the House—a post he held from 1973-78. He went on to represent Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 28 years, retiring in 2007.

To read about Martin Sabo’s last days in his U.S. House office, go to page 18 of the Spring 2007 issue of Augsburg Now.

The Sabo Center was founded on lessons that come from Representative Sabo’s work. These lessons focus on the role and character of citizenship in a vibrant democracy and guide our practice:

  • Civic engagement is a result of good citizenship
  • Successful political process depends on deliberative practice
  • Political leadership is a vocation in democracy
  • The art of politics is about how to get things done
  • Good decisions should be guided by values