Courtesy of: South Dakota Hall of Fame

James Abdnor

James Abdnor was a Lebanese American politician. 

He was born on February 13, 1923, in Kennebec, South Dakota, and was of Lebanese descent. James started his political career as a senator in the South Dakota Senate. He then became lieutenant governor of the state and was elected as the United States representative to South Dakota’s second congressional district in 1972. He served as a U.S. senator before becoming the 15th administrator of the Small Business Administration in 1987.

Before his rise to fame, James received his business administration degree from the University of Nebraska.    

Throughout his career, James received recognition for his work, including an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1976 and the Guardian of Small Business Award from National Federation of Small Business six times. In 1995 he was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.


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