Early years and political rise
After school, the young Winfield Dunn took part as a Marine in World War II in the Pacific. In 1950 he graduated from the University of Mississippi, then he studied dentistry at the University of Tennessee and opened after graduation a dentist's office in Memphis.
Dunn was early member of the Republican Party. In 1952 he was a follower of Dwight D. Eisenhower, as this successfully ran for the presidency. Ten years later, in 1962, he made an unsuccessful attempt to be elected to the House of Representatives from Tennessee. In 1964, he supported Barry Goldwater in the presidential elections. In 1968 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention and supported the presidential candidacy of Richard Nixon. In 1970, he managed to win his party's nomination for the election for governor of Tennessee.
Governor of Tennessee
Surprisingly, Dunn was able to win the election against his Democratic challenger John Jay Hooker. He was the first Republican governor of Tennessee since Alfred A. Taylor, who held office from 1921 to 1923. The election of a Republican governor of Tennessee was in a time when the Republicans won more generally in the south again more ground. As governor to Dunn sat for a nationwide kindergarten program, promoted the further expansion of highways and reorganized the administration of the State. The governor was very anxious to strike a fair balance between all stakeholders. He brought Republicans and Democrats from all parts of the state in his government.
After the end of his four -year term in 1975, he became a successful businessman in Memphis. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee and was involved in charitable organizations. He also remained associated politics. Apart from an unsuccessful attempt to be 1986 again elected governor, he supported yet both George Bush and his son George W. Bush in their election campaigns. In 2004 he was one of the electors for George W. Bush.
He is married to Jean Pritchard. The couple has three children.