Thomas S. Kleppe

Thomas S. Kleppe
41st United States Secretary of the Interior
In office
October 17, 1975  January 20, 1977
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Stanley K. Hathaway
Succeeded by Cecil D. Andrus
10th Administrator of the Small Business Administration
In office
President Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Preceded by Hilary J. Sandoval, Jr.
Succeeded by Mitchell P. Kobelinski
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Dakota's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1967  January 3, 1971
Preceded by Rolland W. Redlin
Succeeded by Arthur A. Link
Personal details
Born (1919-07-01)July 1, 1919
Kintyre, North Dakota, United States
Died March 2, 2007(2007-03-02) (aged 87)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Resting place Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, United States
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Glendora "Glen" Kleppe (died 2010)
Children Janis Eileen Kleppe Cunningham
Thomas Stewart Kleppe
Jane Paula Kleppe Sutermeister
Jill Marie Kleppe McClelland
Parents Lars O. Kleppe (homesteaders)
Hannah Savig Kleppe
Alma mater Valley City High School
Valley City State University
Valley City Teachers College
Profession Politician
Religion Lutheran
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942–1946
Battles/wars World War II

Thomas Savig Kleppe (July 1, 1919 March 2, 2007) was an American politician who served as the Representative from North Dakota. He was also the Administrator of the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.[1][2]

Early life and military service

Kleppe was born on July 1, 1919, in Kintyre, North Dakota, the son of Lars O. Kleppe and his wife Hannah Savig Kleppe. He graduated from Valley City High School in Valley City, North Dakota in 1936. Kleppe graduated from Valley City State University, (then Valley City Teachers College). During World War II, Kleppe served from 1942 to 1946 as a Warrant Officer. [3]


From 1950 to 1954, Kleppe was the Mayor of Bismarck, North Dakota. From 1946 to 1964, he was the president and treasurer of the Gold Seal Company. In 1964, Kleppe was the Republican nominee for United States Senate but lost to the popular incumbent Democrat Quentin N. Burdick. In 1966 he was elected to the Ninetieth United States Congress, and he was reelected in 1968 to the Ninety-first United States Congress (January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971). In 1970 he was again an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Senate, losing a rematch to Burdick by a wide margin. [4]

He served as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, and later served as the Secretary of the Interior for President Gerald Ford. In his capacity as the Secretary of the Interior, Kleppe was the appellant in Kleppe v. New Mexico (1976), when the Supreme Court ruled that Congress has the "power to protect wildlife on the public lands, state law notwithstanding."

Personal life

His first wife, Frieda K. Kleppe, died in 1957. Kleppe married his second wife, Glendora Loew Gompf, on December 18, 1958. He had two children from his first marriage and two daughters from his second marriage. He resided in Bismarck, North Dakota. Kleppe died of Alzheimer's disease, in Bethesda, Maryland, on March 2, 2007. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. [5]

See also


  1. Thomas Savig Kleppe (Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame)
  2. "Thomas Kleppe" (PDF). Homestead National Monument of America. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  3. John Robert Greene (January 6, 2016). "Thomas S. Kleppe (1975–1977) - Secretary of the Interior". Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  4. "Gold Seal Company". bismarckcafe. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  5. Virginia Grantier (March 5, 2007). "Former Rep. Tom Kleppe dies". Bismarck (ND) Tribune. Retrieved January 1, 2016.

Other Sources

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rolland W. Redlin
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Arthur A. Link
Political offices
Preceded by
Stanley K. Hathaway
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Served under: Gerald R. Ford

Succeeded by
Cecil D. Andrus
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