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Governor Richard Kneip


PIERRE, S.D. – The late-Gov. Richard F. Kneip was known as a man who loved people, politics and business. He served South Dakota as a state senator and as Governor. For this, he is one of South Dakota’s Great Faces.
Kneip was a state senator from 1965 to 1971. He was elected South Dakota’s 25th Governor in 1971. Kneip was South Dakota’s fourth Democratic governor.
During his term, Kneip worked to nurture Native American-white relations, developing a task force to help resolve disputes between state and tribal governments. He consolidated 160 state agencies, boards and departments into 16 to make the executive branch more efficient. He also focused on tax reform, aid for education, highway construction and water development.
In 1978, Kneip resigned from his post as Governor and was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. He died 14 years later at the age of 54.
South Dakota’s Great Faces weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism, designed to highlight those who have had a significant impact on South Dakota, particularly within the visitor industry. Click on the special “South Dakota’s Great Faces” link at to access the complete list of articles.  
*Kniep  (kuh-NYP’)
Media Notes:
Information for this release was obtained from the South Dakota Hall of Fame and the National Governors Association.


Wanda Goodman 
Media & PR Manager
Phone: 605-773-3301