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North Dakota Historic Figures

Lawrence Welk
1903-92: Welk was one of eight children born on a farm near Strasburg, North Dakota. He displayed a musical interest at an early age. After leaving school in his elementary years because of a prolonged illness, Lawrence spent more time practicing his talent.
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Dorothy Stickney
1896-1998: A Broadway actress who received stage immortality in the long running "Life with Father," co-starring her husband, Howard Lindsay, Dorothy Hayes Stickney was one of the great leading ladies of the legitimate theater. Born in Dickinson, North Dakota, on June 21, 1896, Stickney attended the North Western Dramatic School in Minneapolis. She sang and danced as one of the four Southern Belles in vaudeville and began acting in summer stock companies.
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Ivan Dmitri
1900-68: Gaining international fame for his sensitive portrayals in color photography, etchings and watercolors, Ivan Dmitri's work has been exhibited in nearly every major art museum in the western world. Born Levon West, he moved throughout North Dakota during his youth, as his father was a Congregational preacher. He graduated valedictorian of his high school class at Harvey, North Dakota, taught school for a year, and enlisted in the United States Navy. After World War I, West received a scholarship to the University of Minnesota where, despite his interest in art, he studied business administration at his father's insistence. His first break as an artist came with the publication of his etching of "The Spirit of St. Louis" upon Charles Lindbergh's arrival in Paris. The etchings of Levon West soon were in great demand. His interest in photography brought recognition in the new medium and in order to separate his two artistic fields and protect those that had purchased his etchings, West took the name of Ivan Dmitri for his photographic work
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Roger Maris
1934-85: Raised in Fargo, North Dakota, Maris was a football and basketball star at Shanley High School. He played in the American League after trying out with the Chicago Cubs. Maris began playing for the Cleveland Indians in 1959, and hit 14 home runs. In 1958 and 1959, he hit 28 and 16 homers respectively, while playing for Kansas City. Maris was traded to the Yankees in 1960, and his legend began. He was voted Most Valuable Player in the American League that year, after hitting 39 home runs with 112 RBIs. The year 1961 saw Maris blast 61 home runs, one more than Babe Ruth hit in a season, and again Maris was named MVP.
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Eric Sevareid
1912-92: Nationally known television commentator, news analyst, and author, Eric Sevareid is particularly noted for his perceptive essays on public events and personalities. Sevareid grew up in Velva, North Dakota, and knew from his youth that he wanted to be a journalist, which accounted for his fascination with the local newspaper. At the age of 18, Sevareid began working as a copy boy. He later became a reporter for the Minneapolis Journal while attending the University of Minnesota. Upon receiving his B.A. degree, Sevareid traveled to London and Paris to continue his studies. He joined the Paris edition of the New York Herald and became a radio correspondent for CBS in 1939, covering the war in Europe. In later years, Sevareid was known for his coverage of presidential elections and meetings of the United Nations Assembly in Paris. Sevareid retired as a CBS television news commentator on November 30, 1977.
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