Sarah Palin

State Governor

Born: 11 February 1964
Birthplace: Sandpoint, Idaho
Best known as:

John McCain's vice-presidential candidate in 2008

Name at birth: Sarah Louise Heath

Sarah Palin, the first female governor of Alaska, was John McCain's running mate in the U.S. presidental elections of 2008. Sarah Palin was born in Idaho but moved to Alaska with her family when she was three months old. Two accomplishments from her youth have become especially well known: she played point guard for Wasilla High School's 1982 championship team, and she placed second in the Miss Alaska contest of 1984. After attending four different colleges, she earned a journalism degree from the University of Idaho in 1987, then returned to Alaska and married Todd Palin, her high school boyfriend, in 1988. After a few stints as a TV sportscaster in Anchorage, Sarah Palin joined the Wasilla city council in 1992, then served as the city's mayor from 1996-2002. She was sworn in as Alaska's first woman governor on 4 December 2006, after running a campaign based on ethics and clean government. Two years later, in a surprise selection, Arizona senator John McCain made her the Republican Party's first female candidate for vice president. She and McCain were defeated by the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, but that didn't slow Palin's apparent ambition for the spotlight. She stayed in the public eye throughout the beginning of 2009, making high-profile trips out of Alaska. In a surprise move, she resigned on 26 July 2009, in the middle of her first term as governor, handing power over to  Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell. Sarah Palin started a new career as a highly-paid public speaker and Obama critic. She published a memoir, Going Rogue (2009), and starred in her own reality show, Sarah Palin's Alaska, which ran for eight episodes in 2010-11. She also became a paid commentator for Fox News in 2010; Fox News announced that they had "parted ways" in January of 2013.

Extra credit:

Days after her nomination as vice-president in 2008, Sarah Palin announced that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant. Sarah Palin said Bristol would marry the father of the child, Levi Johnston, but Bristol Palin and Johnston later broke up. Their son Tripp, Sarah Palin's first grandchild, was born in December of 2008... Wasilla is located 35 miles north of Anchorage. The city population was 7028 people in September 2008, according to the city's website... Sarah Palin's high school basketball nickname was "Sarah Barracuda"... The Palins have five children: son Track (b. 1989), daughters Bristol (b. 1990), Willow (b. 1994), and Piper (b. 2000), and son Trig (b. 2008). The dates were confirmed in a two-page health history published by her doctor, Cathy Baldwin-Johnson... Trig Palin, who has Down Syndrome, was born while Sarah Palin was governor... Track Palin joined the US Army in 2007.

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