Orville Lothrop Freeman
(May 9, 1918 February 20, 2003) was an American Democratic
politician who served as the 29th Governor of Minnesota
from January 5, 1955 to January 2, 1961, and as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
from 1961 to 1969 under Presidents John F. Kennedy
and Lyndon B. Johnson
. He was one of the founding members of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
and strongly influential in the merger of the pre-DFL Minnesota Democratic and Farmer-Labor
Born in 1918 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Freeman is best remembered for initiating the Food Stamp Program for under-resourced people which is still in use today.
Freeman was a 1940 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he met his life-long friend and political ally, Hubert Humphrey. During World War II, he served as a combat officer in United States Marine Corps, achieving the rank of major. He earned his LL.B. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1946.
On November 13, 1955, he was a guest on the variety show Toast of the Town (which would later be called The Ed Sullivan Show). He died from Alzheimer's Disease in 2003 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Orville's son Mike Freeman was a candidate for Governor in 1998 and has served non-consecutive terms as County Attorney for Hennepin County, Minnesota from 1991 until 1999, and continuously since 2007.