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Longtime capitol reporter will speak at library

Rudy Perpich was a reporter's dream. And luckily for Betty Wilson, she was a reporter during his long tenure as Minnesota's governor.

"He was always making news," said Wilson.

Wilson kept every piece of paper that ever crossed her desk during her time as capitol reporter for the Star Tribune and as she looked back at it she decided to turn it into a book about one of Minnesota's most notable governors.

On April 6, Wilson will speak about the book, Rudy! The People's Governor, that she wrote about him and his administration.

"I thought someone should write about that period.... It was just such an interesting period," said Wilson of the time.

Perpich served two full terms and one partial term as governor of Minnesota. In all he served 10 years in the office. During his time at the capitol, Perpich grew a reputation for being a man of vision. Although not everyone thought his visions were plausible.

"He had a lot of interesting ideas. And a lot of people laughed at his ideas," Wilson said.

One example Wilson shared was when Perpich extended an invitation for Mikhail Gorbachev to visit Minnesota, when the Soviet Union President visited the United States in 1990. Gorbachev came and quieted many who laughed at Perpich, said Wilson.

Wilson, who lives on the Rosemount-Apple Valley border, worked as a reporter for the Star Tribune for more than 20 years. During her time as a state capitol correspondent she covered four governors. She wrote the book about Perpich in 2005.

Wilson's library event is one of several local author talks the library has put on in partnership with the Rosemount Area Arts Council. So far the events have drawn large crowds, said RAAC member John Loch.

Loch said they hope to continue to have authors speak at the library next fall. He said any area authors interested in doing an event can call him at 952-423-3754.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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