Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, Sarah Palin moved to Alaska with her family at the age of three months when her father took a teaching and coaching position in “the Gold Rush town”, Skagway, Alaska, before eventually settling in Wasilla, about 40 miles north of Anchorage.
An outdoors enthusiast, Palin grew up as an avid hunter, fisher, athlete, runner, hiker and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. A graduate of Wasilla High School, Palin was the co-captain and point guard of Wasilla’s state championship basketball team, earning the nickname “Sarah Barracuda” for her intense playing style. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications-Journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987, and became a television sports reporter in Anchorage.
Prior to her election as governor, she served two terms on the Wasilla City Council, two terms as the mayor and city manager of Wasilla, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., and served as chairman of the powerful Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.
Palin first made history in 2006, when she became the first female and youngest governor of Alaska. Under Palin’s leadership as governor, Alaska finally invested billions in savings, overhauled education funding, reformed the state’s employee pension program, passed comprehensive ethics laws, restructured Alaska’s oil valuation formula, enacted a competitive process to construct a natural gas pipeline and protected Alaska’s natural resources. A proven fiscal hawk, Palin cut state spending by nearly 10% and used her line-item veto to cut wasteful spending—the largest veto cuts in the state’s history.
In 2008, John McCain chose Palin to serve as his running mate, making her the first woman to run on the Republican Party’s presidential ticket.
After leaving office in 2009, Palin became a political commentator for the FOX News Channel and published her autobiography, Going Rogue: An American Life (2009). She has written, now, three New York Times best sellers. Her latest book, Sweet Freedom: A Devotional features 260 “meditations” that apply biblical principles to contemporary issues. It is slated for release in November of 2015.
Through her political action committee, SarahPAC, Palin remains active in the national political scene by supporting candidates who share her fiscal conservative and libertarian ideals for smaller and smarter government. She has been particularly active in supporting Republican women candidates and grassroots reformers bucking the political establishment like she is known to do. Palin travels internationally for speeches. She loves distance running, extreme hot yoga, lawn work, cooking and road trips with her family. A devout Christian and outdoorsman, she shares her love of God's green earth with all she encounters.
She and her husband Todd, a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay, former Oil Field Production operator, have been married 26 years. They have five children and two grandchildren.