Pat Paulsen

publicity photo of Pat Paulsen in 1970, ABC Television

Birth Name: Patrick Layton Paulsen

Date of Birth: July 6, 1927

Place of Birth: South Bend, Washington, U.S.

Date of Death: April 24, 1997

Place of Death: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

*father – Norwegian, possibly Swedish
*mother – English, distant Welsh, Dutch, and Irish

Pat Paulsen was an American comedian and satirist.

He was a (somewhat comedic) candidate for President of the United States in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996.

Pat was the son of Beulah Inez (Fadden) and Norman Inge Paulsen. His father was a Norwegian immigrant. His mother was born in Washington, of English, and distant Welsh, Dutch, and Irish, descent.

He was married to Noma Littell Henriques, until his death. He had three children with his first wife Betty Jane Cox.

Pat’s paternal grandfather was Carl/Karl Martin Paulsen (the son of Johan/Johon Fredrik Paulsen and Pauline Gundersen). Carl was born in Christiana, Norway. Pauline was the daughter of Gunner Amundsen and Laura Marie Pulsdt.

Pat’s paternal grandmother was named Teresa/Terese Caroline/Karoline Marcusen/Markussen (who was possibly the daughter of Noach Markusson and Anna Marta Silven). Noach was born in Holmbodal, Vermland, Sweden, the son of Markus Andersson and Britta Svensdatter. Anna was born in Arjang, Silbodal, Varmland, Sweden, the daughter of Lars Magnus Silven and Maria Charlotta Ljunggren.

Pat’s maternal grandfather was Walter Monroe/Munroe Fadden (the son of Aaron Thurber Fadden and Marcena/Marcina Lovina/Laura/Emma Reynolds). Walter was born in Minnesota. Aaron was the son of Joseph C. Fadden, who was Canadian, from Québec, and of Laura C. Dager/Dugual/Dugan/Dugaulette. Marcena was the daughter of Lyman Sidney Reynolds and Almira J. Colby.

Pat’s maternal grandmother was Ellen Charlotte “Lottie” Gwilt (the daughter of James Gwilt and Elizabeth Howells). Ellen was born in England, and may have been of partial Welsh ancestry, as well. James was born in Shropshire, the son of Thomas Gwilt and Ann/Anne Yeats/Yeates/Yates. Elizabeth was also born in Shropshire, the daughter of George Howells and Jemima Bennett.

Two people of heavily Scandinavian ancestry have served as Vice President of the United States, Hubert Humphrey, from January 20, 1965 to January 20, 1969, and Walter Mondale, from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981. Both were members of the Democratic Party.

Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale were also the two people of heavily Scandinavian ancestry who were nominated for President of the United States by a major party, Humphrey in 1968 and Mondale in 1984, both by the Democratic Party.

Mondale was also the Democratic Party’s nominee for re-election as Vice President in 1980. Aside of Humphrey and Mondale, two people of heavily Scandinavian ancestry have been nominated for Vice President of the United States by a major party. They were:
*Earl Warren (1948; Republican; Warren was of Norwegian and Swedish descent)
*Lloyd Bentsen (1988, Democratic; Bentsen’s father was of Danish descent)

Pat was one of several people of heavily Scandinavian ancestry to run a plausible or semi-plausible campaign for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States. Of these candidates, several won a major party’s caucus and/or primary. They were:
*Earl Warren (who sought the 1936, 1944, 1948, and 1952 Republican nominations; each time, won 1 state, California)
*Charles A. Christopherson (who sought the 1944 Republican nomination; won 1 state, South Dakota; Christopherson’s parents were Norwegian)
*Hubert Humphrey (Democratic; in 1952, he won 1 state, Minnesota; in 1960, he won 2 states; in 1972, he won 5 states)
*Joe Foss (who sought the 1956 Republican nomination; won 1 state, South Dakota; Foss’s father was of Norwegian descent)
*Henry M. Jackson (Democratic; ran in 1972 and 1976: in 1976, he won 4 contests; Jackson’s parents were Norwegian)
*Walter Mondale (1984, the year he was nominated; Democratic; won 20 contests)

Other people of heavily Scandinavian heritage who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States are:
*George T. Mickelson (who sought the 1952 Republican nomination; Mickelson’s father was Norwegian)
*Frank Carlson (who sought the 1968 Republican nomination; Carlson’s parents were Swedish)
*Lloyd Bentsen (who sought the 1976 Democratic nomination)
*John B. Anderson (who sought the 1980 Republican nomination, and was later an independent 1980 candidate; Anderson’s father was Swedish and Anderson’s mother was of Swedish descent)
*Bob Smith (who sought the 2000 Republican nomination; Smith’s paternal grandfather was of Danish descent)
*Gary Johnson (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination, and was the Libertarian Party’s 2012 and 2016 nominee for President of the United States; Johnson’s father was adopted by Danish and Norwegian parents, and was possibly himself of Scandinavian descent)
*Michele Bachmann (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination; Bachmann is of Norwegian descent)
*Jon Huntsman, Jr. (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination; Huntsman is of one eighth Swedish, one eighth Norwegian, and one sixteenth Danish, descent)
*Eric Swalwell (who sought the 2020 Democratic nomination; Swalwell’s mother is of Swedish and Danish descent)
*Perry Johnson (who sought the 2024 Republican nomination; Johnson’s father was of Swedish and Norwegian descent)

Sources: Genealogy of Pat Paulsen –

Genealogy of Pat’s mother (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Pat’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census –

8 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    his paternal grandmother was born in Oslo to Swedish parents:

    • andrew says:

      However THREE Census records exclude that. Probably a misunderstanding about the place of birth which may have previously been within Swedish borders.

  2. andrew says:

    About his maternal grandfather, an immigrant to Canada with a Gaelic surname like “Fadden” seems to be Scottish (or Irish, Reynolds can be Irish too), and Dugual/Duguaelette sounds French. As a whole I don’t think her mother had much English ancestry.

  3. andrew says:

    His maternal grandmother was likely Welsh, “Gwilt”, “Howells” are Welsh names and Shropshire County is bordered by Wales

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