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U.S. Marshals Service

District of South Dakota

United States Marshal George L. Tennyson

George L. Tennyson, United States Marshal D/SD


George L. Tennyson was nominated as United States Marshal for the District of South Dakota by President Richard Nixon and was confirmed by the Senate June 19, 1969.  He was sworn in as United States Marshal August 1, 1969.  Tennyson was reappointed and confirmed by the Senate in 1973.

In 1974 George Tennyson resigned as United States Marshal and accepted the appointment as Chief Deputy United States Marshal for South Dakota, a career position, after having served as Marshal without a Chief Deputy for more than two years.  On October 14, 1974, Chief Judge Fred Nichol court appointed Tennyson to continue his service as United States Marshal.  He served in this position until December 22, 1977, at which time the United States Senate approved the appointment of a new United States Marshal.  Tennyson then returned to the Chief Deputy position. 

On February 11, 1983, United States Marshal Kenneth Muir, District of North Dakota, was killed during an attempt to arrest members of the Posse Comitatus at Medina, North Dakota.  Tennyson was sworn in as United States Marshal for the District of North Dakota by the United States District Court on February 17, 1983 and served in that capacity until March of 1984, when a new Marshal was appointed for North Dakota.  He then continued his Chief Deputy duties in South Dakota until mandatory retirement August 31, 1989.  He received numerous awards from the United States Marshals Service and from the Attorney General of the United States.

Tennyson's law enforcement career commenced in March 1956, when he was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Pennington County, Rapid City, South Dakota, and then promoted to Chief Deputy Sheriff in 1958.  In July of 1969 he resigned from the Sheriff's Office to accept the position of United States Marshal for South Dakota.  A member of the National Sheriff's Association and the South Dakota Peace Officers Association since 1956, he served five years as a member of the Board of Directors, including a term as President of the South Dakota Peace Officers Association.  He is also a member of the Retired United States Marshals Association and several military and other service clubs.

Tennyson served in the United States Navy from January 1951 thru November 1954 aboard a Destroyer Ship, the USS CAPERTON, during the Korean war, throughout the world as well as in Korea.

After retirement from the USMS, Tennyson was employed as an investigator for a private law firm for about nine years and served as a special agent and investigator for the Office of Personnel Management as a background investigator.  At the present time he works as a Special Investigator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a background investigator.  He resides at Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife, Marjorie.

Historical Listing of United States Marshals for District of South Dakota is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice