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Rod Grams

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Rod Grams
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byDavid Durenberger
Succeeded byMark Dayton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota's 6th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byGerry Sikorski
Succeeded byBill Luther
Personal details
Born(1948-02-04)February 4, 1948
Princeton, Minnesota
DiedOctober 8, 2013(2013-10-08) (aged 65)
Crown, Minnesota
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Christine Gunhus
Alma materBrown College
Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Carroll University

Rodney Dwight "Rod" Grams (February 4, 1948 – October 8, 2013) was a politician from Minnesota and a radio personality. He served as a Republican in both the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Grams first began as a TV News anchor, but quit his job in order to run for the senate.[1]

Early life

Grams was born in Princeton, Minnesota and attended Brown Institute, 1966–8, Anoka-Ramsey Community College, 1970–2, and Carroll College, 1974–5.[2]


After David Durenberger announced he would not seek reelection, Grams surprised many by announcing, just months into beginning his first term in the US House, that he would run for the US Senate. However, Grams faced opposition for the Republican party endorsement from State Senator Gen Olson, Bert McKasy (former chief of staff to David Durenberger), and Doug McFarland.

In the general election against Democratic Farm Labor candidate Ann Wynia and Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley, Grams won a close election to become Minnesota's next US Senator.

Grams ran for re-election in 2000 as the incumbent, losing to Mark Dayton. During the campaign, Grams' wife Christine Gunhus was revealed to have written anonymous disparaging emails about Grams' potential Democratic rival, Mike Ciresi, from her home computer.[3] She received a fine and suspended sentence for violating political advertising regulations.[4]

Personal life

Grams was married to Christine Gunhus until his death in 2013. On September 4, 2013 it was announced that Grams had been battling cancer since 2012 and had entered hospice care.[5]


Grams died of colon cancer on October 8, 2013 at his home in Crown, Minnesota.[6]