Palin, Sarah Heath (pāˈlĭn) [key], 1964–, U.S. politician, b. Sandpoint, Idaho, as Sarah Louise Heath, grad. Univ. of Idaho (B.S. 1987). Her family moved to Alaska not long after she was born. In 1992 she entered Alaskan local politics, winning two terms on Wasilla's city council (1992–96) and two terms as its mayor (1996–2002). A Republican and a social conservative, she made (2002) an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor and chaired (2003–4) the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Concerned by ethical conflicts involving a commission member who was also Republican state party chairman, she resigned after serving less than a year. In 2006 she defeated Governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary and won the governorship in the general election, becoming Alaska's first woman governor. Chosen in 2008 by Republican presidential candidate John McCain to be his running mate, Palin became the first woman to be nominated for the vice presidency by the Republican party. The McCain-Palin ticket lost the election to Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Palin resigned as governor in 2009, before the end of her term. Since then she has supported Tea Party candidates, authored two books (2009, 2010), and hosted a reality show about living in Alaska (2010–11).
See her memoir (2009); S. Conroy and S. Walshe, Sarah from Alaska (2009).