Sarah Louise Palin (/ˈpeɪlɪn/ (About this sound listen); née Heath; born February 11, 1964) is an American politician, commentator, author,
and reality television personality, who served as the ninth Governor of Alaska from 2006 until her resignation in 2009. As the Republican
Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 election alongside presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain,
she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major political party and the first Republican woman selected as a vice presidential
candidate. Her book Going Rogue has sold more than two million copies.
She was elected to the Wasilla city council in 1992 and became mayor of Wasilla in 1996. In 2003, after an unsuccessful run for lieutenant
governor, she was appointed chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, responsible for overseeing the state’s oil and gas
fields for safety and efficiency. She was the youngest person and the first woman to be elected Governor of Alaska.
Since her resignation as governor, she has endorsed and campaigned for the Tea Party movement as well as several candidates in multiple
election cycles, prominently including Donald Trump for president in 2016. From 2010 to 2015, she provided political commentary for Fox
News. On April 3, 2014, Palin premiered her TV show, Amazing America with Sarah Palin, on the Sportsman Channel, which ran until
February 12, 2015. On July 27, 2014, Palin launched the online news network called the Sarah Palin Channel, which was closed on July 4,
Palin was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, the third of four children (three daughters and one son) of Sarah “Sally” Heath (née Sheeran), a school
secretary, and Charles R. “Chuck” Heath, a science teacher and track-and-field coach. Palin’s siblings are Chuck Jr., Heather, and Molly.
Palin is of English, Irish, and German ancestry.
When Palin was a few months old, the family moved to Skagway, Alaska, where her father received his teaching job. They relocated to Eagle
River in 1969 and finally settled in Wasilla in 1972.
Palin played flute in the junior high band and then attended Wasilla High School, where she was the head of the Fellowship of Christian
Athletes and a member of the girls’ basketball and cross-country running teams. During her senior year, she was co-captain and point guard
of the basketball team that won the 1982 Alaska state championship, earning the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” for her competitive streak.
In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant, then finished third (as second runner-up) in the Miss Alaska pageant, where she also
got the title of “Miss Congeniality”.She played the flute in the talent por One author reports that she received the Miss Congeniality award in
the Miss Wasilla contest (but this is disputed by another contestant and classmate of Palin’s)and a college scholarship.
After graduating from high school in 1982, Palin enrolled at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Shortly after arriving in Hawaii, Palin transferred
to Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu for a semester in the fall of 1982 and then to North Idaho College, a community college in Coeur
d’Alene, for the spring and fall semesters of 1983. She enrolled at the University of Idaho in Moscow for an academic year starting in August
1984 and then attended Matanuska-Susitna College in Alaska in the fall of 1985. Palin returned to the University of Idaho in January 1986
and received her bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism in May 1987.
In June 2008, the Alumni Association of North Idaho College gave Palin its Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.
Early career and marriage
After graduation, she worked as a sportscaster for KTUU-TV and KTVA-TV in Anchorage and as a sports reporter for the Mat-Su Valley
Frontiersman, fulfilling an early ambition.
In August 1988, she eloped with her high school sweetheart, Todd Palin.Following the birth of their first child in April 1989, she helped in her
husband’s commercial fishing business.
Early political career
Main articles: Early political career of Sarah Palin and Electoral history of Sarah Palin
Palin was elected to the Wasilla City Council in 1992, winning 530 votes to 310. Throughout her tenure on the city council and the rest of her
political career, Palin has been a Republican since registering in 1982.
Mayor of Wasilla
Concerned that revenue from a new Wasilla sales tax would not be spent wisely, Palin ran for mayor of Wasilla in 1996, defeating incumbent
mayor John Stein 651 to 440 votes. Her biographer described her campaign as targeting wasteful spending and high taxes; her opponent,
Stein, said that Palin introduced abortion, gun rights, and term limits as campaign issues. The election was nonpartisan, though the state
Republican Party ran advertisements for Palin. She ran for reelection against Stein in 1999 and won, 909 votes to 292. In 2002, she
completed the second of the two consecutive three-year terms allowed by the city charter.She was elected president of the Alaska
Conference of Mayors in 1999.
Palin had a contretemps with the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, a local newspaper, and reportedly became involved in personnel challenges
and “a thwarted attempt to pack the City Council” during her first year in office. Using income generated by a 2% sales tax that had been
approved by Wasilla voters in October 1992, Palin cut property taxes by 75% and eliminated personal property and business inventory
taxes. Using municipal bonds, she made improvements to the roads and sewers and increased funding to the police department. She
oversaw creation of new bike paths and procured funding for storm-water treatment to protect freshwater resources. At the same time, she
shrank the local museum’s budget and deterred talk of a new library and city hall.
Soon after taking office in October 1996, Palin eliminated the position of museum director and asked for updated resumes and resignation
letters from “city department heads who had been loyal to Stein”,including the police chief, public works director, finance director, and
librarian. Palin stated this request was to find out their intentions and whether they supported her. She temporarily required department
heads to get her approval before talking to reporters, saying they first needed to become acquainted with her administration’s policies. She
created the position of city administrator and reduced her own $68,000 salary by 10%, although by mid 1998 this was reversed by the city
In October 1996, Palin asked library director Mary Ellen Emmons if she would object to the removal of a book from the library if people were
picketing to have the book removed. Emmons responded that she would, and others as well. Palin stated that she had not been proposing
censorship but had been discussing many issues with her staff that were “both rhetorical and realistic in nature.” No attempt was made to
remove books from the library during Palin’s tenure as mayor.
Palin said she fired Police Chief Irl Stambaugh because he did not fully support her efforts to govern the city. Stambaugh filed a lawsuit
alleging wrongful termination and violation of his free speech rights.The judge dismissed Stambaugh’s lawsuit, holding that the police chief
served at the discretion of the mayor and could be terminated for nearly any reason, even a political one, and ordered Stambaugh to pay
Palin’s legal fees.
During her second term as mayor, Palin proposed and promoted the construction of a municipal sports center to be financed by a 0.5%sales
tax increase and $14.7 million bond issue. Voters approved the measure by a 20-vote margin, and the Wasilla Multi-Use Sports Complex
(later named the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center) was built on time and under budget. However, the city spent an additional $1.3
million because of an eminent domain lawsuit caused by the city’s failure to obtain clear title to the property before beginning construction.
The city’s long-term debt grew from about $1 million to $25 million because of expenditures of $15 million for the sports complex, $5.5 million
for street projects, and $3 million for water improvement projects. The Wall Street Journal characterized the project as a “financial mess.”A
city council member defended the spending increases as being necessitated by the city’s growth during that time.
Palin also joined with nearby communities in hiring the Anchorage-based lobbying firm of Robertson, Monagle & Eastaugh to lobby for
federal funds. The firm secured nearly $8 million in earmarks for the Wasilla city government, including $500,000 for a youth shelter, $1.9
million for a transportation hub, and $900,000 for sewer repairs. In 2008, Wasilla’s current mayor credited Palin’s 75 percent property tax
cuts and infrastructure improvements with bringing “big-box stores” and 50,000 shoppers per day to Wasilla.
In 2002, Palin ran for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, coming in second to Loren Leman in a five-way Republican primary.
Following her defeat, she campaigned throughout the state for the nominated Republican governor-lieutenant governor ticket of Frank
Murkowski and Leman. Murkowski and Leman won and Murkowski resigned from his long-held U.S. Senate seat in December 2002 to
assume the governorship. Palin was said to be on the “short list” of possible appointees to Murkowski’s U.S. Senate seat, but Murkowski
ultimately appointed his daughter, State Representative Lisa Murkowski, as his successor in the Senate.
Governor Murkowski offered other jobs to Palin, and in February 2003 she accepted an appointment to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation
Commission, which oversees Alaska’s oil and gas fields for safety and efficiency. While she had little background in the area, she said she
wanted to learn more about the oil industry and was named chair of the commission and ethics supervisor. By November 2003 she was filing
nonpublic ethics complaints with the state attorney general and the governor against a fellow commission member, Randy Ruedrich, a former
petroleum engineer and at the time the chair of the state Republican Party.He was forced to resign in November 2003.Palin resigned in
January 2004 and put her protests against Ruedrich’s “lack of ethics” into the public arenaby filing a public complaint against Ruedrich, who
was then fined $12,000. She joined with Democratic legislator Eric Croft in complaining that Gregg Renkes, then the attorney general of
Alaska, had a financial conflict of interest in negotiating a coal exporting trade agreement. Renkes also resigned his post.
From 2003 to June 2005, Palin served as one of three directors of “Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.,” a 527 group designed to
provide political training for Republican women in Alaska.In 2004, Palin told the Anchorage Daily News that she had decided not to run for
the U.S. Senate that year against the Republican incumbent, Lisa Murkowski, because her teenage son opposed it. Palin said, “How could I
be the team mom if I was a U.S. Senator?”
Governor of Alaska
Main article: Governorship of Sarah Palin
Palin visits soldiers of the Alaska National Guard, July 24, 2007
In 2006, running on a clean-government platform, Palin defeated incumbent Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican gubernatorial
primary. Her running mate was Sean Parnell.