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Joseph Jacob Foss papers

Identifier: MS-060

Content Description

This collection consists of correspondence, manuscript and print materials related to Joe Foss' term as South Dakota governor from 1955-1959.


  • 1955 - 1959


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research without restriction. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting. Advance notice may be needed to retrieve items for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Jacob Foss was a military hero, a politician, and a businessman. He was born close to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1915. He attended Sioux Falls College and Augustana College and received a B.A. degree from the University of South Dakota in 1940. He served with distinction during World War II and the Korean War and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Foss was elected in Minnehaha County as a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1948 and 1952. He served two terms as governor of South Dakota, from 1955-1959. During his time as governor, he won a bonus for Korean War veterans, helped increase aid for education, and secured passage of a record state budget. Foss was also Commissioner of the American Football League, vice-president of Raven Industries, president of the National Rifle Association and president of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults from 1969-1971. He hosted a television show entitled "The Outdoorsman: Joe Foss” and co-wrote A proud American: the autobiography of Joe Foss.

Joe Foss died on January 1, 2003.


15.5 linear feet (23 document boxes and 4 record cartons)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

Governor Joseph Foss, South Dakota State Historical Society Archives

Joseph Jacob Foss papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository