Inducted Saturday, September 28, 2019
Dave Thune graduated from Moorhead High School in 1968. During high school, Thune was involved with art, journalism, music, political science, and the pep organization “O,” and he played guitar with local bands. He was gently reprimanded for wearing long hair and taking part in a “takeover” of the morning announcements to read an anti-war statement. Thune earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from North Dakota State University in 1973.
Thune worked at the Rourke Art Gallery in Moorhead before moving to St. Paul in 1974 to become the exhibits coordinator at the Minnesota Historical Society. He became active as a community organizer and was a leader in ridding St. Paul of adult entertainment clubs.
In 1989, Thune was elected to the St. Paul City Council, where he was an outspoken advocate for neighborhood issues, historic preservation and human rights. Thune was a colorful politician, winning both friends and enemies for his work, which included authoring St. Paul’s Human Rights Ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation and a ground-breaking ordinance banning smoking in bars and restaurants. Thune became president of the City Council and chair of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, where he worked to bring the Xcel Energy Center and Minnesota Wild hockey team to St. Paul.
After eight years on the City Council, Thune retired from elected office. Six years later, Thune ran again and won re-election. He again served as chair of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and helped bring historic and affordable housing development into St. Paul.
Thune received honors from public health and human rights groups and is an Eagle Scout. He continues to be an advocate for neighborhoods, historic preservation, people with disabilities, and liberal causes.
In 2015 Thune retired from the St. Paul City Council after serving 20 years total. He now devotes his time to his family, operates The St. Paul Gallery, makes art, and plays 1960s rock and roll in a local band.
Dave and his wife Sue, a 1969 Moorhead High graduate, live in St. Paul, Minn. They have three adult children, Erin, Kelly and Dusty, and one grandchild, Ingrid.