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Alaska Famous People

Famous Americans: History and Biographies

Alaska Famous People: Greeting from AlaskaLinks to histories and biographies of the famous people of Alaska. Many famous people of Alaska have made significant contributions to the history of our nation and the state of Alaska. These famous Americans, famous entertainers, famous players, famous scientist, famous singers, famous statesmen, famous women, heroes, great explorers, and others Alaska famous Americans have all made Alaska their home. This list includes Alaska historical figures, celebrities and those individuals of Alaska who have influenced the lives of others.

Famous People from Alaska

  • Aleksandr Andreyevich Baranov (1746 - 1819) A fur trader from Russia who became the first governor of Russian America and founded present-day Sitka.
  • E. L. "Bob" Bartlett (1904 - 1968) Congressman for Alaska that fought for Alaskan statehood; grew up in Fairbanks.
  • Benny Benson (October 12, 1913 – July 2, 1972) was the Aleut boy who designed the flag of Alaska. Benny was 13 when he won a contest in 1927 to design the flag for the territory of Alaska, which became a U.S. state in 1959.
  • Vitus Jonassen Bering (1681 - 1741) Navigator that explored Alaska for Russia and discovered that Siberia and North America were separate continents.
  • Susan Butcher (1956 - ) 4-time winner of Iditarod Trail race (1986-88,90); lives near Eureka.
  • William Allen Egan (October 8, 1914 – May 6, 1984) was an American Democratic politician. He served as the first Governor of the State of Alaska from January 3, 1959 to 1966, and the fourth Governor from 1970 to 1974. Born in Valdez, Alaska, Egan is the only governor in the state's history to have been born in Alaska.
  • Jewel Jewel (born May 23, 1974), professionally known as Jewel, is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, and poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and has sold over 27 million albums worldwide. Jewel was born in Payson, Utah. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Homer, Alaska where her grandfather Yule Kilcher, a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention and a state senator, had settled after emigrating from Switzerland.Yule also made the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield. Jewel is a first cousin once removed of actress Q'orianka Kilcher.
  • Carl Ben Eielson (1897 - 1929) This pilot made the first Alaska airmail flight in 1924.
  • Elizabeth Wanamaker Peratrovich (1911 - 1958) was a Tlingit native leader who fought for equal rights for natives in Alaska. She spoke to the territorial legislature in 1945 in favor of the bill that outlawed discrimination against natives, beginning a new era in race relations in Alaska.
  • Libby Riddles (1956 - ) The first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1985.
  • Leonhard Seppala (1877 - 1966) Dogsled racer who rushed medicine to Nome in 1925 and helped to prevent a diphtheria epidemic.

More Famous People of Alaska

  • Margaret Elizabeth Bell author
  • Benny Benson designed state flag at age 13, Chignik
  • Charles E. Bunnell educator
  • Henry E. Gruennig political leader
  • B. Frank Heintzleman territorial governor
  • Walter J. Hickel former governor
  • Molly Hootch a groundbreakers in changing educational opportunities for Alaskan natives who were unable to go to high school without leaving home for nine months of the year prior to 1976. Until that time, none of the villages had school beyond eighth grade. Anna and Molly were students named as plaintiffs in the case that won 126 high schools in native villages across Alaska. Alaskan culture encourages its citizens, both native and non-native, to speak their minds and become activists.
  • Sheldon Jackson educator and missionary, Minaville, NY
  • Joe Juneau prospector
  • Austin Lathrop industrialist
  • Sydney Lawrence painter
  • John Griffith (Jack) London author, San Francisco, CA
  • Ray Mala actor
  • John Muir naturalist, explorer, Scotland
  • Virgil F. Partch cartoonist
  • Joe Redington, Sr. was the Father of The Last Great Race on Earth, the Iditarod, run by dog sleds and mushers across Alaska every March since 1973. The race was started to commemorate the Serum Run of 1925 when diphtheria serum was rushed by dog sled over the 1000-mile Iditarod trail from Anchorage to Nome to save lives from the disease.

    Reddington was a talented musher and race promoter, convincing people to sponsor the event and contribute prize money. He and his wife Vi offered a piece of their own land as a prize in one of the early races.

    Today people travel from around the world to serve as check-point help, veterinarians, and trail volunteers for the race Joe Reddington, Jr. started. It is a community event for all of Alaska. Alaskan children may be more likely to know Iditarod statistics and mushers than NBA or NFL players. Everyone knows or follows a favorite musher. If you live in Alaska, you understand the conditions the dogs and mushers survive to complete the race. That same determination is part of Alaska's culture.
  • Anna Tibeluk a groundbreakers in changing educational opportunities for Alaskan natives who were unable to go to high school without leaving home for nine months of the year prior to 1976. Until that time, none of the villages had school beyond eighth grade. Anna and Molly were students named as plaintiffs in the case that won 126 high schools in native villages across Alaska. Alaskan culture encourages its citizens, both native and non-native, to speak their minds and become activists.
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