So, my wife (last name, before and after marriage: Gingerella; her motto is, "Why don't YOU change YOUR name?") asked me if there had ever been "a politically successful Munger."
I did not say, "before ME, you mean, dear?"
Obviously, the place to go to answer such questions is THE POLITICAL GRAVEYARD.
Here's one useful entry:
"Munger, William S. — of Michigan. Republican. Candidate in primary for Michigan state senate 18th District, 1952. Still living as of 1952."
Well, that is a minimal kind of success: Ol' Bill Munger ran for Michigan state Senate, and did not actually die during the campaign. He lost the race, but he didn't die. You takes your victories where you gets 'em.
I would have to say that the biggest success story is Willard Munger. Check this:
Munger, Willard (1911-1999) — also known as "Mr. Environment" — of Duluth, St. Louis County, Minn. Born in a log house, Otter Tail County, Minn., January 20, 1911. Democrat. Member of Minnesota state house of representatives, 1955-64, 1967-99; defeated, 1934, 1952; died in office 1999; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1960; candidate for Minnesota state senate, 1964. Served in the Minnesota House longer than anyone else in the state's history. Died, of liver cancer, in the hospice unit of of St. Mary's Hospital, Duluth, St. Louis County, Minn., July 11, 1999. Interment at Oneota Cemetery, Duluth, Minn.
Now, that is a political career. He served in the Minnesota House for 41 years. I bet Mrs. Environment was getting a little sick of those tuna hotdish dinners at the Duluth Rotary Club long before the end. But Willard stayed in office until there was no more Willard.
He left a legacy. The Willard Munger Inn. The Munger Trail. A biography, written out of respect and gratitude for all those years of service. An obituary to be proud of.
Now, when I started this post, I was just mocking the idea of political success. Things we can't have, we make fun of. But by the time I actually learned something about Willard Munger, I have to admit I'm proud to have the same last name.
Willard Munger, here's to you: the greatest political Munger of all time.