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Tennessen, Robert J.

Senate 1971-72 (District 38); Senate 1973-82 (District 56)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  Hennepin

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 8/24/1939
Birth Place: Lismore, Minnesota
Birth County: Nobles
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death:
Gender: Male
Religion: Catholic
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Minneapolis
Occupation (when first elected): Attorney

EDUCATION

St. Anthony High School, Lismore; Secondary; Graduate, 1957
University of Minnesota; B.A.; Economics, 1965
University of Minnesota, Law School; J.D.; 1968

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Commission on Uniform State Laws; [Dates Unknown]
State Board/Commission/Council: Minnesota Constitutional Study Commission; 19?? to 19??
Military: United States Air Force; 1957 to 1961
U.S. Legislative Staff/Council/Commission: United States Privacy Protection Study Commission; 1975 to 1977

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Christine Hestad Tennessen
Children: Three children: (daughter)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

Special Legislative Concerns: finance, judiciary, health, welfare, corrections, banking, insurance.

Adrian is also listed as his birth place. (Minnesota Legislative Manual, 1977-78)

He was a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

The Tennessen Warning, which is named after former Sen. Tennessen, "gives individuals the information they need to make an informed choice about surrendering the privacy of their personal data by providing it to the government" (Pioneer Press, June 21, 2008).

He was a member of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Religion provided by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Total Days Served: 4382

SESSIONS SERVED

72nd Legislative Session (1981-1982)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 56
Elected: 11/4/1980
Residence: Minneapolis
Term of Office: 1/6/1981 to 1/3/1983
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Finance
  • Finance: Education
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Corporate Law
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration
  • Judiciary: Privacy (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration
  • Rules and Administration: Personnel

71st Legislative Session (1979-1980) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 56
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Minneapolis
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Commerce: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Publicly Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Finance
  • Finance: Education
  • Finance: Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration
  • Judiciary: Privacy (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration

70th Legislative Session (1977-1978)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 56
Elected: 11/2/1976
Residence: Minneapolis
Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/5/1981
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Committees:
  • Commerce (Chair)
  • Commerce: Banking - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Consumer Protection and Economic Development - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Insurance - Ex Officio Member
  • Commerce: Publicly Regulated Industries - Ex Officio Member
  • Finance
  • Finance: Education
  • Finance: Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration
  • Judiciary: Privacy (Chair)
  • Rules and Administration

69th Legislative Session (1975-1976) (second half of Senate term)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 56
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Minneapolis
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
  • Finance
  • Finance: Education
  • Finance: Welfare-Corrections
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections: Corrections (Chair)
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections: Institutional Closings
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Privacy (Chair)
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration (Chair)
  • Judiciary: Public Law Reform

68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 56
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Minneapolis
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/3/1977
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
Committees:
  • Finance
  • Finance: Education
  • Finance: Welfare and Corrections
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections: Corrections (Chair)
  • Judiciary
  • Judiciary: Judicial Administration (Chair)
  • Judiciary: Judiciary

67th Legislative Session (1971-1972)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 38
Elected: 11/3/1970
Residence: Minneapolis
Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
Counties Represented: Hennepin
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
Committees:
  • Corrections and Commitments
  • Education
  • Judiciary
  • Urban Affairs
Archive Collections
Robert J. Tennessen Papers, 1969-1997 - Available in the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections.

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.