Governor South Dakota Dennis Daugaard Biography Age Wikipedia Family Marriage Education Career

Dennis Daugaard Biography Age Wikipedia Family Marriage Education Career

Dennis Martin Daugaard  (born June 11, 1953) is an American attorney and politician who has been the 32nd Governor of South Dakota since January 2011.

He is the first governor of South Dakota or any state in the United States to be the child of deaf parents.

Dennis Daugaard Biography About Marriage Age Wikipedia


Dennis Martin Daugaard
June 11, 1953 (age 63)
Garretson, South Dakota, U.S.

Political party



Linda Daugaard


Governor's Residence


University of South Dakota (BA)
Northwestern University (JD)

Dennis Daugaard Biography About Career

Dennis Martin Daugaard was born in 1953 and raised on a family farm near Garretson, South Dakota, the son of Florence Margaret (Kennedy) and Raymond Victor Daugaard. He was a child of deaf parents. (Such children are referred to as CODA, child of deaf adult(s), and a national interest organization for adults was founded in 1983 because of their common issues as mediators between the deaf and hearing worlds.) His father's family descends from immigrants from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. While Dennis Daugaard was growing up, his family used American sign language as the primary language of their home. Daugaard went to a local one-room country school as a child. For high school, he had to go to the city of Dell Rapids; there he played the French horn. He graduated in 1971.

Daugaard attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion where he was advised by William O. Farber. Daugaard graduated USD in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Government and went on to attendNorthwestern University School of Law, where he earned a Juris Doctor in 1978. Daugaard worked to pay his way through law school, serving as an ASL interpreter, driving a bus through the downtown Loop, and working as a law clerk and security guard.

Daugaard settled in Chicago, Illinois, working as an attorney from 1978 to 1981, before returning to South Dakota. He married Linda that year and they have three children: Laura, who is married to Jay Mitchell; Sara, who is married to Tony Venhuizen; and Christopher, who is married to Emily Conway.

Daugaard took a job as an executive banker in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from 1981 to 1990. He left the bank to become the Development Director for the Children's Home Society of South Dakota, serving from 1990 to 2002. He became Executive Director, serving from 2002 to 2009.

Daugaard was supportive of the Republican Party. His first entry into electoral politics came in 1996, when he was elected as a South Dakota State Senator. In 2003, Daugaard was elected as the 37th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota, serving in this position for two terms.

Dennis Daugaard Biography Age Wikipedia Family Marriage Education Career