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Ex-Microsoft executive, Doug Burgum, gets North Dakots's highest honor

November 21, 2009View for printing

A philanthropist and former Microsoft Corp. executive who built a big-time company with small-town people is the recipient of North Dakota's highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider award.

Gov. John Hoeven presented Doug Burgum with the award during a surprise ceremony Friday at Microsoft's Fargo campus, where Burgum served as the company's senior vice president. Burgum is the 37th person to receive the award, given first in 1961 to entertainer Lawrence Welk.

Burgum fought back tears during much of a presentation, which included video messages from Microsoft founder Bill Gates and current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Burgum had built his previous company, Great Plains Software, Inc., into a billion-dollar company before selling it to Microsoft.


Associated Press Writer FARGO, N.D. —

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