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Governor #20: Joe Foss.

Governor #20: Joe Foss

Field review by the editors.

Pierre, South Dakota

In office 1955-1959

Joe Foss was the most famous of all South Dakota governors -- for what happened to him outside of office. In World War II he was the USA's "Ace of Aces," earning the Congressional Medal of Honor even though he was initially thought to be too old to be a fighter pilot (He was 27). He contracted malaria twice, then went on to become president of the National Rifle Association, the first commissioner of the American Football League, and the host of TV series The American Sportsman. John Wayne -- a personal friend -- wanted to portray Foss in a Hollywood movie about the Ace of Aces, but it was never made because Foss refused to add a fictitious love story to the script.

Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby sculpted Foss in his most familiar image: as a dashing World War II flyboy in uniform, with his pistol holstered and his eyes gazing skyward. Governor? Joe Foss was a governor?

Also see: Trail of Governors

Governor #20: Joe Foss

600 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD
On the southwest corner of E. Capitol Ave. and Ree St.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Saluting SoldiersSaluting Soldiers, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
Governor #15: Leslie JensenGovernor #15: Leslie Jensen, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
Governor #27: William John JanklowGovernor #27: William John Janklow, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.
In the region:
South Dakota National Guard Museum, Pierre, SD - < 1 mi.

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