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Garrison Keillor and Jenny Lind Nilsson Marriage Profile


Photo: Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Garrison and Jenny Keillor attend premiere in New York City on June 4, 2006.

Photo: Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Garrison Keillor and Jenny Lind Nilsson settled in St. Paul, Minnesota, close to where they were both born and close to their extended families.

Here's information about their marriage, careers, previous marriages, and more.

News Updates:

9/09/2009: Garrison Keillor was hospitalized after he had a minor stroke on Monday, September 7, 2009. Paul Walsh of the Star Tribune reports Keillor "has his laptop with him, allowing him to "work on the long-awaited Lake Wobegon screenplay." He signed off his statement with: "And that's the news from here."



Garrison Keillor: Aka Gary Edward Keillor, born in Anoka, Minnesota on August 7, 1942.

Jenny Lind Nilsson: Born in Anoka, Minnesota on September 26, 1957.

Wedding Date:

Garrison and Jenny were married in 1995.


Previous Marriages:

Garrison had two previous marriages:

  • Mary Constance Guntzel: Born on March 16, 1944 in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Married in 1965. Garrison was still attending the University of Minnesota when they married. One son. Marriage ended in divorce in 1976. Mary died on April 3, 1998. Garrison dedicated his book, Love Me to Mary.
Note: Garrison's book dedication has Mary's birth year as 1945. The Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002 Record has her birth year as 1944.
  • Ulla Skaerved: Ulla was an exchange student from Denmark in 1959/1960 at Garrison's high school. Garrison and Ulla met again at an Anoka High School class reunion in 1983. Married in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 28, 1985. They were both 43 years old when they married. Divorced in 1990.
Note: Source for wedding date: The Capital -- NewspaperArchive.com


Garrison has two children:

  • Jason Peter O'Bleness Keillor: Born in 1969. His mother is Mary Guntzel. Named after his maternal grandmother, Marjorie O'Bleness. Jason works for his father's radio production company. He lives in River Falls, Wisconsin with his wife, Tiffany Joi Hannsen and their children.
  • Maia Grace Keillor: Born in 1997 in New York City, New York. Her mother is Jenny Lind Nilsson.



Garrison Keillor: Actor, journalist, radio announcer, writer, creator and host of public radio's Prairie Home Companion.

Jenny: Violinist in the Minnesota Opera orchestra and co-author of The Sandy Bottom Orchestra.





  • St. Paul, Minnesota: Garrison and Jenny have a large home in the Georgian style. The home was built in 1914 by Emmanuel Masqueray, a French architect. Jenny and Garrison purchased the home in 1998 for $710,000 and have been making it their own. The home has seven bedrooms, a circular staircase, and 13-foot ceilings.
  • New York City, New York: They maintain a Manhattan apartment on the Upper West Side. The Keillors re-purchased a $3.5 million two-bedroom apartment on Central Park West that they sold in 1993.


Quotes About Love and Marriage by Garrison Keillor:

Garrison, about his Mr. Blue advice column: "Mr. Blue was a way to be useful. Nothing human is beneath a writer's attention; the basic questions about how to attract a lover and what to do with one once you get one and how to deal with disappointment in marriage are the stuff that fiction is made from, so why not try to speak directly? And so I did. And now it's time to move on."
Source: Salon.com

Garrison, about Jenny's encouragement: "With her encouragement, I'm willing to tackle just about anything."
Source: JS Online

Garrison, about marriage: "The rules for marriage are the same as for a lifeboat. No sudden moves, don't crowd the other person, and keep all disastrous thoughts to yourself. ... Misery is the secret of happiness in marriage. Go make yourself miserable and then come home. "
Source: Public Radio

Garrison, about why he married Jenny: "And my wife. I married my wife because she makes me laugh. You should never marry someone who doesn't make you laugh."
Source: AARP

Garrison, about the perfect woman: "The perfect woman is the woman who you love to converse with and who you want to tell everything to. The moment you have a big experience, you want her there to listen to your account of it. Her take on things fascinates you, her talk is pleasurable to you, and you love her company. That's what you want in a companion."
Source: JS Online

Garrison, on romance: "I've been brave in romance. Brave or irresponsible. I will go into my twilight years with lovely memories."
Source: Seattle Post - Intelligencer. "A Moment with Garrison Keillor." Nov 16, 2004. pg. D.1.

Garrison, about his first wife, Mary: "I really admired her. She was someone who found herself when she dared to take a role championing people who were not capable of standing up for themselves. Her great cause was working with people coming out of state-run hospitals who were not used to having civil rights and being independent. It was something that deeply engaged her in ways that being married to a writer and moving in a writer's circle did not. She found it awkward and painful and it made her feel self-conscious and inferior."
Source: The Guardian


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