Skip Humphrey

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Skip Humphrey
Skip Humphrey.jpg
Skip Humphrey, 2012
27th Minnesota Attorney General
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 6, 1999
Preceded by Warren Spannaus
Succeeded by Mike Hatch
Personal details
Born Hubert Horatio Humphrey III
(1942-06-26) June 26, 1942 (age 76)
Political party Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Spouse(s) Nancy Lee Humphrey
Alma mater American University
University of Minnesota Law School
Profession Attorney
Religion Methodist

Hubert Horatio "Skip" Humphrey III (born June 26, 1942) is a former Minnesota politician who served as Attorney General of the state from 1983 to 1999. He was a state senator from 1973 to 1983. Humphrey now leads the Office of Older Americans as the Assistant Director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

A Democrat, Humphrey is the son of the late Vice President Hubert Humphrey and the late U.S. Senator Muriel Humphrey. He was the Democratic candidate for Minnesota governor in the hotly contested three-way election of 1998.

Early life

Humphrey attended American University, where he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi, Beta Chi chapter, and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.[1]

Political career

Humphrey was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1972 and served as a state senator from 1973 to 1983. He was elected Minnesota Attorney General in 1982,[1] one of the DFL Party's most popular candidates ever in terms of popular vote. He served in the office for four consecutive terms, from 1983 to 1999.

In 1988, he ran for the same US Senate seat that his father and his mother previously held, but was defeated by incumbent Independent-Republican Senator David Durenberger. Despite this loss, Humphrey remained well regarded in Minnesota political circles and around the country: he served as president of the National Association of Attorneys General, and in 1996 President Bill Clinton gratefully welcomed him as the state chairperson of his reelection campaign.[2]

By 1998 he was again encouraged to run for higher office, and entered the DFL gubernatorial primary, winning handily in a crowded field[3] (which included another scion of an eminent Minnesota political family, Ted Mondale). In the general election, both Humphrey and Republican candidate Norm Coleman lost to the third-party candidacy of Jesse Ventura in a tumultuous race.

Political legacy

Humphrey was an enthusiastic successor of his father's New Deal-inspired political philosophy, and throughout his career he remained devoted to traditional progressive ideals as well as their more modern manifestations: "If you think that being too liberal means raising the minimum wage, advocating health care for everyone, protecting the environment, taking on the tobacco industry, enacting campaign finance reform, and putting more cops on the streets, then guess what? That's what Minnesotans want."[4] One of his most passionately held principles was an implacable opposition to tobacco and its powerful political lobby: in 1999, the World Health Organization awarded him the Director-General's Prize for outstanding global contribution to tobacco control.[5]

Personal life

While a student at American University, Humphrey met Nancy Lee Jeffery, the daughter of a US Navy captain. Much to their parents' surprise and delight, the two were married while spending the summer of 1963 in Europe.[6] The Humphreys are the parents of three children, including Hubert H. "Buck" Humphrey IV. His mother is Muriel Humphrey Brown.

Humphrey was a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota, where he taught public health policy and law,[7] and was also a consultant to Tunheim Partners, a Minnesota-based communications and public affairs firm.[8] Humphrey served as the president of the Minnesota chapter of the AARP, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the National AARP.[9]

Electoral history

  • 1998 election for Governor
  • 1998 election for Governor – Democratic Primary
  • 1994 election for state Attorney General
    • Hubert H. Humphrey III (DFL) (inc.), 1,115,285
    • Sharon Anderson (IR), 488,753
    • Dean W. Amundson (Grassroots Party), 69,776
  • 1990 election for state Attorney General
    • Hubert H. Humphrey III (DFL) (inc.), 1,126,447
    • Kevin E. Johnson (IR), 655,282
  • 1988 election for U.S. Senate
  • 1986 election for state Attorney General
    • Hubert H. Humphrey III (DFL) (inc.), 985,569
    • Lew Freeman (IR), 399,483
    • Derrick P. Grimmer (Grassroots Party), 16,394
  • 1982 election for state Attorney General
    • Hubert H. Humphrey III (DFL), 61.72%
    • Elliot Rothenberg (IR), 37.24%
    • Samuel A. Faulk (Conservative People's Party), 1.04%
  • 1980 election for State Senate (District 44)
    • Hubert H. Humphrey III (DFL) (inc.), unopposed (19,579 votes, 100%)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, Minnesota Legislators Past & Present – Legislator Record (Retrieved August 15, 2010).
  2. GAO; Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton, October 28, 1996 (Retrieved August 15, 2010).
  3. CNN: Minnesota primary results, September 15, 1998. (Retrieved August 15, 2010).
  4. Kamber, Victor (2003). Poison Politics: Are Negative Campaigns Destroying Democracy?; Basic Books, New York City; ISBN 978-0-7382-0872-5. See p.270: "As Hubert Humphrey III, son of HHH and now Minnesota's attorney general, said...."
  5. World Health Organization. WHO press release, May 27, 1999 (Retrieved August 15, 2010).
  6. Solberg, Carl (1984). Hubert Humphrey: A Biography; Borealis Books, St. Paul MN; ISBN 0-87351-473-4. See p.234: "In the summer of 1963... Hubert H. Humphrey III was also traveling to Europe... In August, Humphrey wrote his son's old headmaster: 'Skip has returned from Europe and believe it or not, he has married a very lovely young lady here in Virginia – Nancy Lee Jeffery. They were married in Europe so they could enjoy a little honeymoon there. We are very happy at the whole situation.'"...
  7. Regents of the University of Minnesota (2010). "Faculty Biography: Hubert H. Humphrey III, J.D." University of Minnesota. Archived from the original on July 11, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Tunheim Partners, Minneapolis, MN. Tunheim Partners Employee Profile (Retrieved August 15, 2010).
  9. AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). AARP Leadership Profile: Hubert H. Humphrey III (Retrieved August 15, 2010).

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Warren Spannaus
Minnesota Attorney General
Succeeded by
Mike Hatch
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Marty
DFL nominee for Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
Roger Moe
Preceded by
Mark Dayton
Endorsed Candidate for United States Senator from Minnesota (Class 1)
Minnesota DFL State Convention

Succeeded by
Ann Wynia
DFL nominee for United States Senator from Minnesota (Class 1)