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Sarah Palin Fast Facts

Here’s a look at the life of 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Personal

Birth date: February 11, 1964

Birth place: Sandpoint, Idaho

Birth name: Sarah Louise Heath

Father: Charles Heath, a teacher

Mother: Sarah (Sheeran) Heath

Marriage: Todd Palin (August 29, 1988-present, divorce filed for in September 2019)

Children: Trig, April 18, 2008; Piper, March 19, 2001; Willow, July 5, 1994; Bristol, October 18, 1990; Track, April 20, 1989

Education: University of Idaho, B.S., 1987

Religion: Christian

Other Facts

First female governor of Alaska.

Was a runner-up in the 1984 Miss Alaska pageant.

Her fifth child, Trig, was born with Down syndrome.

Was a Fox News contributor off and on between 2010 and 2015.

Timeline

1992-1996 – Member of the Wasilla City Council.

1996-2002 Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

2002 – Loses bid to become lieutenant governor of Alaska.

2003-2004 – Serves on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

November 7, 2006 – Is elected governor of Alaska, defeating former two-term governor Tony Knowles (49% to 41%).

December 4, 2006-July 26, 2009 – Governor of Alaska.

July 28, 2008 Alaska state legislators vote to hire an investigator to determine if Palin fired former state Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he would not fire Palin’s former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, a state trooper.

August 6, 2008 – A former state employee files an ethics complaint against Palin, accusing her of using her position to get a supporter a government position.

August 29, 2008 – Named as Arizona Senator John McCain’s vice presidential running mate.

September 1, 2008 – Announces her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant, and the McCain campaign releases a statement that McCain knew about the pregnancy when he selected her as his running mate.

September 3, 2008 Accepts the Republican Party’s nomination for vice president at the Republican National Convention.

October 10, 2008 – State investigator Stephen Branchflower releases a report that Palin abused her power as Alaska’s governor and violated state ethics law by trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired.

October 18, 2008 – Appears on “Saturday Night Live” with Palin lookalike Tina Fey.

November 3, 2008 – Alaska’s Personnel Board releases a report concluding that Palin did not violate ethics law in relation to her ex-brother-in-law.

November 4, 2008 – McCain loses the presidential election to Barack Obama.

January 27, 2009 – Launches political action committee SarahPAC to raise money.

July 3, 2009 – Announces that she will be stepping down as governor of Alaska.

July 26, 2009 – Steps down as governor of Alaska. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell becomes governor.

November 2009 – Palin’s memoir, “Going Rogue: An American Life,” is published.

February 6, 2010 – Delivers the keynote address at the first national Tea Party convention.

March 25, 2010 – Discovery Communications announces Palin will appear in an eight-part documentary series, called “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” on the TLC network.

November 2010 – Palin’s book, “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag,” is published.

June 10, 2011 – The state of Alaska releases roughly 24,000 pages of emails from Palin’s governorship that had been requested in 2008 under the Freedom of Information Act.

October 5, 2011 – Announces she is not running for president.

January 20, 2014 – In a Facebook post on Martin Luther King Day, Palin sends a message to President Obama, “Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card.”

July 27, 2014 – The subscription-based Sarah Palin Channel launches online.

January 19, 2016 – Endorses Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at an Iowa campaign stop.

March 13, 2016 – Palin’s husband, Todd, is seriously injured in a snow machine crash in Alaska and is in intensive care. He is hospitalized for two weeks.

June 27, 2017 – Files a lawsuit against the New York Times alleging that a recent editorial falsely portrayed her as responsible for inciting the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords.

August 29, 2017 – A federal judge dismisses Palin’s defamation lawsuit against the New York Times, declaring that he sees no evidence of malicious intent.

August 6, 2019 – A federal appeals court reverses a lower court’s decision to dismiss Palin’s defamation lawsuit, giving her another chance to square off with the New York Times.

September 6, 2019 – Todd Palin files for divorce from Sarah Palin, after 31 years of marriage. The divorce filing and court records use only initials to refer to the pair, with Todd Mitchell Palin listed as TMP and Sarah Louise Palin only identified as SLP.

March 11, 2020 – Palin appears on “The Masked Singer,” performing a rendition of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”

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