Just the second — and first Republican — woman to run for the office of U.S. vice president, Sarah Palin has been employed as a newscaster, state governor, and reality TV star. Here are eight personal facts that shed light on this possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate.
1. Sarah Louise Heath was born in Sandpoint, Idaho, on Feb. 11, 1964, and moved to Alaska with her family when she was just 3 years old. Her father, Charles, was a science teacher, while her mother, Sally, worked as a school secretary. Both of her parents were avid outdoors people, and imparted a love of hunting, fishing, and running in the family.
2. Palin grew up in Wasilla and played point guard on the girls’ high school basketball team, which won the state championship in 1982. Because of her athletic competitiveness, she was nicknamed “Sarah Barracuda.”
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3. Two years after her high school graduation in 1982, Palin was crowned Miss Wasilla and became runner-up in the Miss Alaska contest.
4. After enrolling in four different colleges, she earned a degree in journalism at the University of Idaho in 1987.
5. Upon her return to Alaska, she worked as a sports reporter for an Anchorage TV station.
6. In the summer of 1988, Palin eloped with Todd Palin, who was her high school sweetheart. The couple have five children: Bristol, Willow, Piper, Track, and Trig.
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7. Palin’s first foray into politics was in 1992 when she was elected to the Wasilla City Council. In 1996, Palin became the mayor of Wasilla, and in 2006, became the youngest and first woman to govern Alaska. After the McCain-Palin ticket failed in the 2008 campaign, Palin endorsed numerous Tea Party candidates in the midterm 2010 elections as well as started the Pink Elephant Movement to help support female GOP candidates.
8. In addition, Palin became a contributor on Fox News, an author of several books, and starred in her own reality show, "Sarah Palin’s Alaska," which ran from 2010 through 2011. After her stint as a commentator for Fox News, from 2010 through 2013, she starred in the "Amazing America With Sarah Palin" series on the Sportsman Channel and launched her own online channel for videos in 2014.
Palin has played many roles — wife, mother, newscaster, politician — that have resulted in a variety of labels. Yet she has shown that she can juggle “the BlackBerrys and the breast pump,”
and she has shown that she should not be counted out of the 2016 presidential campaign.
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