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In 1958, Nelson ran for a new office, that of Wisconsin's governor. When he won, he was only the second Democrat to hold that position in the twentieth  century. During his four years in office, Nelson decided that environmental issues were quite important but often ignored by politicians. He changed that trend in his own time in office. For example, with his Outdoor Recreation Act Program, a one-cent tax on cigarette packages raised millions of dollars which was used to buy a million acres of land to preserve.


Nelson earned a BA from San Jose State College and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin.



Nelson was born and raised in the small Wisconsin town of Clear Lake, where his father had a small medical practice. And His mother worked as a registered nurse. He had two sisters and one brother Peg Nelson, Janet Nelson, and Stannard Nelson. Politics was part of Nelson's family heritage: HIs great-grandfather was one of the founders of Wisconsin's Republican party. Both of Nelson's parents were also active politically, as supporters of the Progressive Republicans.


Gaylord Nelson was born in Clear Lake, Wisconsin in 1916

Gaylord Nelson

By: Serina Holston