Humphrey School Mourns Death of Congressman Martin Olav Sabo
Martin Olav Sabo, a longtime Democratic congressman from Minnesota who died Sunday, is remembered for his contributions to public life and a legacy of support for students of public affairs. Sabo’s interest in the work of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs was demonstrated through the continuing Sabo Lecture Series and the Martin Olav Sabo Fellowship.
Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz said, "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Representative Martin Sabo, whose advice and guidance was frequently sought by leaders from both parties long after he left public office. An expert on public sector finance, budgeting and transportation, he helped to advance progress on these issues in the Twin Cities, throughout Minnesota, and across the nation. He will long be remembered for his generous and bipartisan leadership.”
Sabo was a leader in state and national politics for nearly 50 years, serving as chairman of the House Budget Committee in the 1990s and on the Appropriations Committee, where he helped steer millions of federal dollars to Twin Cities transit and housing projects. Part of these allocations supported the Humphrey School’s work on transportation issues and congestion pricing led by the School’s State and Local Policy Program. Prior to serving at the national level, Sabo served as speaker to the Minnesota House of Representatives during the 1970s. Since leaving public office a decade ago, Sabo worked with the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College and also served on the board of Growth and Justice, a liberal public policy advocacy group.
The Martin Olav Sabo Fellowship, a permanent endowment established in 2004, supports Humphrey School students who increase the diversity of views and experiences represented in the student body, and who show outstanding academic promise and commitment to the common good. The fund continues to grow through generous contributions from many donors each year.
Sabo was 78. Read his full obituary in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.