Karl E. Mundt was born in Humboldt in 1900. He grew up in Madison. After college, he taught social studies at Bryant High School. Then he taught at the college now known as Dakota State University in Madison. Mundt was a good public speaker. He enjoyed talking about things that were important to South Dakota. Republican party leaders asked him to run for Congress. The first time he ran, he lost. Then voters elected him to the United States House of Representatives. It was 1938. Mundt never lost another election. He ended his career as a senator in 1972. This was during the Vietnam War. Mundt served in Congress longer than any other South Dakotan. He worked to stop Communism around the world. He helped to pass the Endangered Species Act. He worked to get the Missouri River dams built. He also helped to get the interstate highways and EROS Data Center built. Mundt died in 1974.

Karl Mundt
Photo courtesy of South Dakota State Historical Society