Stan Stephens

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Stan Stephens
20th Governor of Montana
In office
January 2, 1989 – January 4, 1993
LieutenantAllen Kolstad
Denny Rehberg
Preceded byTed Schwinden
Succeeded byMarc Racicot
President of the Montana Senate
In office
Preceded byJean Turnage
Succeeded byBill Norman
Personal details
Stanley Graham Stephens

(1929-09-16)September 16, 1929
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
DiedApril 3, 2021(2021-04-03) (aged 91)
Kalispell, Montana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseAnn Hanson

Stanley Graham Stephens (September 16, 1929 – April 3, 2021)[1] was a Canadian-American politician, journalist, and broadcaster who served as the 20th Governor of Montana from 1989 until 1993.[2]


Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1929, Stephens was educated in public schools, but dropped out of high school. He moved to Montana when he was nineteen.[3] He married Ann Hanson and the couple had two children.[3]


Stephens' 38-year career in broadcasting included his being drafted into service with the U.S. Armed Forces Broadcast Network during the Korean War. Stephens and Lyle Leeds, co-owners of KOJM Radio, in Havre, Montana, from 1953 to 1985, guided the station to a policy of fund-raisers and free air time to individuals to speak on issues. Developing the art of radio editorials, in 1975, Stephens earned the Edward R. Murrow award for journalistic excellence in editorials for uncovering a scandal in the Montana Workers' Compensation Program.[4]

Stephens began his political career in 1969 with his election to the Montana State Senate and in his 16-year tenure, he served as floor whip, majority leader, and senate president. In 1986 Stephens was recognized by the National Republican Legislators' Association as one of the country's ten most outstanding state lawmakers.[3]

In 1988, when incumbent Governor of Montana Ted Schwinden declined to seek re-election to a third term, Stephens ran to succeed him. He narrowly won the Republican primary, and, in the general election, defeated former Governor Thomas Lee Judge by a slim margin. During his tenure as governor, he served on the White House Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Affairs, and he oversaw the 1989 Montana Statehood Centennial celebration.[5] He declined to seek re-election in 1992, and was succeeded by Marc Racicot.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Former Montana Gov. Stan Stephens dies at 91". Connecticut Post. 5 April 2021. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Former State Governors". Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Stan Stephens". National Governors Association. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Stan Stephens". Montana Broadcasters Association. Archived from the original on 9 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Stan Stephens". Montana Historical Society. Archived from the original on 20 August 2012. Retrieved 27 August 2012.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Pat Goodover
Republican nominee for Governor of Montana
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Montana
Succeeded by