Mark Dayton is Minnesota's 40th Governor. He was born in Minneapolis and raised in a house in Long Lake, where his father still lives today. He has two grown sons, Eric and Andrew. Mark became a grandfather in 2013 when Eric and his wife, Cory had their first child, Hugo. Mark lives in St. Paul with his two German Shepherds, Itasca and Wanamingo (Mingo).
Mark attended Long Lake Elementary School and Blake School in Hopkins. He loved hockey, and it was his childhood dream to be the starting goalie on the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team! He didn’t make it, but he was named an All-State goalie his senior year in high school. He graduated, cum laude, from Yale University, where he also played Division I hockey.
After college, Mark taught 9th Grade general science for two years in a New York City public school. He still tells how it was the toughest job he ever had! It was here where he realized the terrible injustice that his students had so little, while he had been given so much; and he decided that he would devote his life to improving social equality and economic opportunity for all Americans.
For most of the past 37 years, Mark has served Minnesotans, as Commissioner of the Minnesota Departments of Economic Development and of Energy and Economic Development, as State Auditor, and as United States Senator. He has worked throughout our state to help businesses locate or expand and create jobs, to improve government services, to better fund our public schools, to support our servicemen and women, to help Minnesotans get the health care they need, and in many other ways to make a better Minnesota.
During Mark’s time as Governor, Minnesota has added more than 190,000 new jobs, earning CNBC’s ranking as America’s Top State for Business. Thanks to budgets Mark has signed into law, and the state’s improving economy, Minnesota has turned a $6 billion deficit into a $2 billion surplus. Mark has kept his promise to increase funding for K-12 education every year he is Governor: no excuses, no exceptions. And thanks to Mark’s leadership, all children (totaling more than 54,000 students) now have access to free, all-day Kindergarten.
Mark currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Governor's Association. In 2015, President Obama appointed Mark to serve on the Council of Governors, which is responsible for advising the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, and the White House Homeland Security Council on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions.