Arthur G. Sorlie was born in Freeborn County, Minnesota, on April 26, 1874. He attended county schools and graduated from Luther Academy at Albert Lea, Minnesota, in 1893.
He worked in a bank at Buxton, North Dakota, from 1894 to 1897. After working in the Buxton bank, Sorlie managed a general store in Buxton and then became a traveling shoe salesman in St. Paul from 1899-1903. In 1903, Sorlie opened a bread and cracker factory in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and became involved in numerous other businesses in both North Dakota and Minnesota.
Supported by the Nonpartisan League, he was a progressive Republican and was elected North Dakota's 14th Governor in 1924. He appointed Gerald P. Nye to fill E. F. Ladd's United States Senate seat. He was re-elected as Governor in 1926 for a second term, but died in office on August 28, 1928.
The bridge across the Red River of the North at DeMers Avenue in Grand Forks was named after Governor Sorlie.