Skip to main content

North Dakota's longest-serving attorney general, Wayne Stenehjem, has died suddenly at the age of 68.

Stenehjem's office announced his death Friday evening, saying he "passed away unexpectedly." He had been hospitalized after a medical call to his home Friday morning.

"We know Wayne was a widely respected and well-known public figure, but we ask that his family be allowed time to grieve in private," it added.

Stenehjem's brother Allan told the Bismarck Tribune that his brother had no known health issues that may have led to his hospitalization. He had recently announced his plans to step down this year to spend more time with his family, at the time saying he was in good health.

It's not clear at this stage what caused his death, though Allan Stenehjem told the Tribune it wasn't COVID-19 related.

Stenehjem is the longest serving AG in North Dakota history, having first being elected to the role in 2000.

Among those paying tribute is North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who said: "It was an honor and a privilege to serve alongside Wayne on the North Dakota Industrial Commission and state Land Board. No matter how complex or contentious the issue, we all benefited from his incredible intellect, legal expertise and professionalism. He cared deeply about North Dakota and wanted only the best for its citizens.

"Kathryn and I extend our deepest condolences and prayers to Beth, Andrew and the entire Stenehjem family, his current and former colleagues from the Attorney General’s Office and Legislature, his friends throughout state government and the entire law enforcement community as we grieve this terrible loss."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-24 at 5.21.04 PM

Ex-South St. Paul coach dies by suicide 2 days before sentencing

Matthew McCollister was to be sentenced for fraud in federal court on Wednesday.

uawgitwa5lpcj158xkfx

Minnesota 'glampground' named one of 10 best in U.S.

In Nevis, Minnesota, campers can stay in a refurbished 1905 train car.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 9.04.12 AM

Two men charged over terrifying armed robbery at Newport apartment

They shot the woman who lives in the apartment in the abdomen, and put a gun to a man's head.

Minneapolis police

Minneapolis 2-year-old identified in suspicious death case

The cause of death has not yet been revealed due to an ongoing investigation.

Arianna Vos

Victim of wrong-way driver crash ID'd as Hutchinson 19-year-old

Three women, ages 19, 20 and 20, were in the vehicle struck by a wrong-way driver early Sunday morning.

Julissa Thaler

Eli Hart killing: Police investigating multiple crime scenes

An announcement Tuesday confirmed potential crime scenes in Mound and Minnetrista.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota strike.

Twin Cities mental health workers gather for 1-day strike

More than 400 mental health workers are participating in the unionized strike on Tuesday.

Bloomington Fire

HAZMAT team at Bloomington hotel following chemical spill in pool

The fire department said two hotel employees are being evaluated by paramedics.

Screen Shot 2022-03-24 at 9.21.32 AM

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities gets $6M of Mackenzie Scott donation

The donation is the largest the organization has ever seen from a single individual.

Hennepin Avenue S.

Minneapolis accused of backtracking on 24/7 bus lanes for Hennepin Ave.

The Minneapolis City Council is set to vote on Thursday.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Duluth brings back masking in city buildings amid COVID surge

Duluth, in one of the state's current COVID hotspots, has brought back a mask requirement in city buildings.

Related

I'm President Trump, and I approve of this North Dakota farmer's message

Gene Hanson's NFL protest message was plowed into his bean field.

North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp a 'no' on Brett Kavanaugh

She said she believes his accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

1024px-All_Seasons_Arena_at_North_Dakota_State_Fair_in_Minot

Coronavirus: 2020 North Dakota State Fair is canceled

The annual event was due to take place in July.

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 12.20.52 PM

Search for suspect, motive after 4 killed at North Dakota business

The mass killing happened at a business in Mandan, central North Dakota.

North Dakota mulls lifting ban on Sunday morning shopping

Stores currently aren't allowed to open until noon.

Gage Laper

Body of missing Hudson 20-year-old found in North Dakota

The 20-year-old's body was found Friday, Sept. 6.