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|44th Mayor of Minneapolis|
January 1, 1980 – December 31, 1993
|Preceded by||Albert Hofstede|
|Succeeded by||Sharon Sayles Belton|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Minnesota's 5th district
January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1979
|Preceded by||Walter Judd|
|Succeeded by||Martin Olav Sabo|
Donald MacKay Fraser|
February 20, 1924
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Arvonne Skelton (m. 1950)|
|Education||University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (BA, LLB)|
Fraser was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Everett and Lois Fraser, immigrants from Canada. His father studied law at Harvard, began teaching at George Washington University and became dean of the University of Minnesota Law School in 1920. Fraser graduated from University High School in 1941 and that year, he entered the University of Minnesota. During college, he was a member of the varsity swimming team.
Having joined the US Navy ROTC, he was placed on active duty in July 1942 and continued his naval studies on campus until February 1944, when he was commissioned an officer and sent to the Pacific Theater during World War II. Fraser worked as a radar officer into the peacetime that followed, ending in 1946. In June 1946 Fraser returned to Minneapolis to study law at the University of Minnesota Law School.
Fraser served as a member of the Minnesota Law Review and wrote a law review article on the illegality of racial covenants for land, a position supported by the US Supreme Court in 1948. Fraser earned his law degree and was admitted to the bar, the same year. He joined the politically active firm of Larson, Loevinger, Lindquist, Freeman, and Fraser. Fraser engaged in general law practice and served as municipal attorney for the suburban community of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. He married Arvonne Skelton in 1950 and the following year, they welcomed the first of their six children: Thomas, Mary, John, Lois, Anne, and Jean (born in that order).
In 1954, Fraser was elected to the Minnesota Senate and served for eight years. In 1962, he was elected to the House of Representatives from Minnesota's Fifth District. He served there in the 88th, 89th, 90th, 91st, 92nd, 93rd, 94th, and 95th congresses, from January 3, 1963 until January 3, 1979. Fraser is now best known for his work as the chair of the International Organizations and Movements subcommittee, a post he used to hold hearings on human rights violations in U.S. allies. From 1973 to 1976, Fraser was a key leader in Congress in drafting legislation to reduce U.S. aid to countries whose governments engaged in a pattern of 'gross violations of human rights'. He gave up his seat to run for the US Senate. He narrowly lost the 1978 Senate primary election to Bob Short, who then lost in the general election to David Durenberger.
Fraser served as president of Americans for Democratic Action from 1974 to 1976. He was elected mayor of Minneapolis in 1979, taking office on January 1, 1980. His first mayoral term was two years, and he was subsequently reelected to three four-year terms. He was the longest-serving mayor in Minneapolis history.
He served as a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Arvonne Fraser ran for lieutenant governor in 1986.
His papers are available for research use. The collection is particularly strong in its documentation of international relations, Democratic Party policy and reform, human rights issues, environmental conservation, and women’s issues, in the 1960s and 1970s.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Donald M. Fraser.|
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:|
Donald M. Fraser
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 5th congressional district
Martin Olav Sabo
|Party political offices|
Title last held byHoward Baker, George H. W. Bush, Peter Dominick, Gerald Ford, Robert Griffin, Thomas Kuchel, Mel Laird, Bob Mathias, George Murphy, Dick Poff, Chuck Percy, Al Quie, Charlotte Reid, Hugh Scott, Bill Steiger, John Tower
| Response to the State of the Union address
Served alongside: Scoop Jackson, Mike Mansfield, John McCormack, Ed Muskie, Bill Proxmire, Patsy Mink
| Mayor of Minneapolis
Sharon Sayles Belton
|88th||Senate: H. Humphrey | E. McCarthy||House: J. Blatnik | A. Quie | A. Nelson | J. Karth | O. Langen | C. MacGregor | D.M. Fraser | A.G. Olson|
|88th||Senate: E. McCarthy | W. Mondale||House: J. Blatnik | A. Quie | A. Nelson | J. Karth | O. Langen | C. MacGregor | D.M. Fraser | A.G. Olson|
|89th||Senate: E. McCarthy | W. Mondale||House: J. Blatnik | A. Quie | A. Nelson | J. Karth | O. Langen | C. MacGregor | D.M. Fraser | A.G. Olson|
|90th||Senate: E. McCarthy | W. Mondale||House: J. Blatnik | A. Quie | A. Nelson | J. Karth | O. Langen | C. MacGregor | D.M. Fraser | J.M. Zwach|
|91st||Senate: E. McCarthy | W. Mondale||House: J. Blatnik | A. Quie | A. Nelson | J. Karth | O. Langen | C. MacGregor | D.M. Fraser | J.M. Zwach|
|92nd||Senate: W. Mondale | H. Humphrey||House: J. Blatnik | A. Quie | A. Nelson | J. Karth | D.M. Fraser | J.M. Zwach | B. Frenzel | R. Bergland|
|93rd||Senate: W. Mondale | H. Humphrey||House: J. Blatnik | A. Quie | A. Nelson | J. Karth | D.M. Fraser | J.M. Zwach | B. Frenzel | R. Bergland|
|94th||Senate: W. Mondale | H. Humphrey||House: A. Quie | J. Karth | D.M. Fraser | B. Frenzel | R. Bergland | T. Hagedorn | R. Nolan | J. Oberstar|
|94th||Senate: H. Humphrey | W. Anderson||House: A. Quie | J. Karth | D.M. Fraser | B. Frenzel | R. Bergland | T. Hagedorn | R. Nolan | J. Oberstar|
|95th||Senate: H. Humphrey (until Jan. 1978) | W. Anderson (until Dec. 1978) | M.H. Brown (from Jan. 1978 until Nov. 1978) | D. Durenberger (from Nov. 1978) | R. Boschwitz (from Dec. 1978)||House: A. Quie | D.M. Fraser | B. Frenzel | R. Bergland (until Jan. 1977) | T. Hagedorn | R. Nolan | J. Oberstar | B. Vento | A. Stangeland (from Feb. 1977)|