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JOHN DAVIS
Class of 1931


Governor John E. Davis (1913-1990) served as the 25th governor of North Dakota.
He graduated from Bismarck High School in 1931 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of North Dakota in 1935. While at UND, he pledged for Beta Theta Pi and was active in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). He was the ranking officer in Scabbard and Blade, an organization of select senior ROTC cadet officers. In 1941, Davis was drafted into the United States Army. He saw extensive combat duty in the European Theater and was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and Silver Star.
Davis was elected mayor of McClusky, ND, in 1946 and served in that role until 1952 when he successfully ran for a position in the

North Dakota State Senate. Davis served as governor of North Dakota from 1957-1960. In 1966, Davis was honored with the Sioux Award, the University of North Dakota Alumni Association's highest honor. Davis was elected the American Legion National Commander from 1967-1968 and was appointed Director of the Civil Defense Preparedness Agency by President Richard Nixon in 1969. Following his retirement in 1976, he was awarded the Department of Defense Service Medal.
John Davis married Pauline Huntley in 1938. The couple had three children: John, Jr., Richard and Kathleen. The couple divorced in 1978, after which he married Marilyn R. Westlie in 1980. John E. Davis died on May 12, 1990, in Rancho Mirage, California.




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