At a Glance
- Career History:
Reality show star (2010);
(January 2007 to July 2009); GOP vice presidential nominee (2008); Wasilla Mayor (1996 to 2002); Chairwoman Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (2003 to 2004); Wasilla City Council member (1992 to 1996); Television sports reporter (1987 to 1989); Co-owner commercial fishing operation (1988 to 2007); Owner, snow machine, watercraft, and all-terrain vehicle business (1994 to 1997)
- Birthday: Feb. 11, 1964
- Hometown: Wasilla, Alaska
- Alma Mater: University of Idaho, B.S. in communications-journalism, 1987
- Spouse: Todd Palin
- Religion: Christian
- State Office: P.O. Box 110001Juneau, Alaska 99811-0001(907) 465-3500
Path to Power
Palin often credits days playing basketball in high school for giving her an edge in the political arena. She helped clinch the state title for her team in 1984 with a free-throw in the final minutes of the championship game. "This really sounds hokey, but that was a turning point in my life" she told the Anchorage Daily News after winning Wasilla's mayoral race in 1996. "We were supposed to be the underdogs big time. You see firsthand anything is possible and learn it takes tenacity, hard work and guts."
Born in Idaho, but raised in Alaska, Palin had something of a tomboy's upbringing. Her father, Chuck, is an avid sportsman who taught his daughter to hunt, fish and trap game. Palin later parlayed her love of the outdoors into several business ventures, working alongside her husband, Todd, for a time as a commercial fish operator. She also made periodic appearances as a television sports anchor on KTUU, Anchorage's NBC affiliate.
Since resigning as Alaska governor, Palin has continued to dominate the national media landscape and remains a potential 2012 presidential contender. She mainly communicates through her Facebook page (she has more than two million fans) and Twitter accounts, and remains a Fox News contributor.
Her 2010 reality-TV show, the Discovery Channel's Sarah Palin's Alaska, showcased Palin and her husband, Todd, as well as their kids, exploring what the channel called America's "final frontier." Though the ratings were solid, the show wasn't renewed (Palin didn't want to commit: a sign of 2012 taking precedence?).
In some ways it's easier to count those who aren't in Palin's inner circle than those who are. Her closest political ally is undoubtedly her husband, Todd.
In 2010, she relied a bit on Rebecca Mansour, who spoke for Palin in public when the former governor didn't do so personally (a rare occurence).