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Luther W. Youngdahl, Associate Justice, 1942-1946

Luther W. Youngdahl

Luther W. Youngdahl

Portrait of Luther W. Youngdahl


Appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1942



Luther Wallace Youngdahl was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 29, 1896. He graduated from South High School and went on to attend the University of Minnesota from 1915 to 1916. He joined the army during World War I and served as a field artillery lieutenant. Upon return from military service, he graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1919.

In 1921, Luther Youngdahl graduated from Minnesota College of Law and was admitted into practice.  From 1921 to 1923, he was Assistant Minneapolis City Attorney.  Youngdahl married Irene Annet Engdahl on June 23, 1923. They had three children: Margaret, William and David. He was appointed a Municipal Judge in 1930, and elected in 1931. Luther Youngdahl was elected a Hennepin County District Court judge in 1936. In 1942, he was appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and served until 1946. Youngdahl resigned in 1946 to run for governor. 

Luther Youngdahl was elected as Minnesota Governor in 1946, 1948, and 1950. Youngdahl worked to reform the mental health care system and received national recognition. He resigned as governor In 1951, to accept appointment as United States District Court Judge in Washington, D.C.  He served from August 29, 1951 until his death. He assumed senior status on May 29, 1966. He died at age 82 on June 21, 1978 at his home in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

You may read more about the life and work of Justice Youngdahl in his memorial, and in the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society's book: Testimony: Remembering Minnesota’s Supreme Court Justices, which is the source of this brief biography. 

Luther W. Youngdahl Signature

Luther W. Youngdahl's signature from the Minnesota Supreme Court's Roll of Attorneys,1858-1970, p 203 (August 23, 1921), available online at: 

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