Nicholas Spaeth

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Nicholas Spaeth
Attorney General of North Dakota
In office
January 1, 1985 – December 15, 1992
Governor George Sinner
Preceded by Robert Wefald
Succeeded by Heidi Heitkamp
Personal details
Born (1950-01-27)January 27, 1950
Mahnomen, Minnesota, U.S.
Died March 16, 2014(2014-03-16) (aged 64)
Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Stanford University
New College, Oxford

Nicholas John Spaeth (January 27, 1950 – March 16, 2014) was the 27th Attorney General of North Dakota, serving from 1985–92. He lost the 1992 North Dakota governor's race to Republican Ed Schafer.

Born in Mahnomen, Minnesota, Spaeth grew up in Valley City, Fargo, and Bismarck in North Dakota. He went to college at Stanford University, where he graduated with honors, and won a Rhodes Scholarship to New College, Oxford. After Oxford, we went to Stanford Law School, where he was managing editor of the law review.[1][2]

After graduation, he clerked for United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit Judge Myron Bright and then for Supreme Court Justice Byron White.[3][4]

In the November 1992 election for governor of North Dakota, Spaeth lost to Schafer, 58% to 41%. In 2004, Spaeth joined H&R Block, Inc. in 2004, as a senior vice president and chief legal officer.[5] He resigned in 2007 and joined the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) as executive vice-president, general counsel and chief risk officer.[citation needed]


Spaeth was found dead in his apartment in Fargo, North Dakota on March 16, 2014. He was 64 years old.[6]


Legal offices
Preceded by
Robert Wefald
Attorney General of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Heidi Heitkamp
Party political offices
Preceded by
George Sinner
Democratic nominee for Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Lee Kaldor