His mother was a cafeteria worker and his father was a writer and federal employee.

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Blodgett, a political science major, was one of those students.

"Paul encouraged students to try out jobs in social change," Blodgett recalled.

Wellstone's first two books, (1981), drew on his organizing experiences among Minnesota farmers and rural residents and the activist group he founded, the Organization for a Better Rice County.

In the early 1980s, Wellstone became active with Minnesota's Democratic Farmer Labor Party, running unsuccessfully for state auditor in 1982.

" While serving in the Senate, Wellstone remained an organizer.

He was frequently on picket lines and at rallies sponsored by labor, community, environmental and other progressive groups.Wellstone earned his undergraduate degree in 1965 and stayed at the University of North Carolina to earn a Ph. in political science in 1969 with a dissertation about black militants.From 1969 to 1989, Wellstone taught political science at Carleton College in Minnesota, where he got involved in local organizing campaigns and encouraged his students to do the same.In his 2002 book , he acknowledged that he spent nearly 85 percent of his time on defense, battling Republican attacks on working families and preventing bad things -- like oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- from happening.When the Democrats were in the majority in 1993-1994, Wellstone pushed for a Canadian-style single-payer healthcare system, in contrast to President Bill Clinton's more modest reform proposal.By: Rick Davis The Early Years The Long Dark History It's a Mystery!