Sarah Louise Palin was born Feb. 11, 1964. Palin was the third of four children to science teacher Charles Heath and secretary Sarah Sheeran. As an infant, Palin’s family moved to Skagway, Alaska, where her father found work as a teacher, then moved again to Eagle River, Alaska, five years later. As a student, Palin played flute and attended Wasilla High School. In her senior year, she captained the basketball team to the Alaska state championship. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at the University of Hawaii. In 1984, Palin won a beauty pageant in her hometown, finishing third in the Miss Alaska pageant, and earned a college scholarship. She earned her degree in communications with an emphasis in journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987. Upon gradutation, she worked as a radio sportscaster, and then as a sports journalist On Aug. 29, 1988, she eloped with Todd Palin, and began to help with his commercial fishing business. Palin began her political career in 1996, when she ran to be mayor of Wasilla. During her first year in office, Palin reportedly kept a jar on her desk with the names of Wasilla residents, pulling a name out once a week and calling to ask how they felt about her performance. Palin accepted an appointment to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission but resigned in 2004 to protest her superior’s lack of ethics in using the state’s time for party business. In 2006, Palin ran for and won the Alaska Governorship and won, becoming Alaska’s youngest and first female governor. In 2007, she traveled outside of the United States for the first time, to Kuwait. On Aug. 27, 2008, Palin visited Senator John McCain (R-Az.) at his home near Sedona, Ariz., where he offered her the position of vice-presidential candidate, a decision which was announced to the public on Aug. 29. Being generally unknown before her selection by McCain, Palin was faced with intense scrutiny regarding her personal life and political record. Palin was often criticized for having a lack of political experience and knowledge, and for frequently contradicting her own views.
After the election, Palin continued her political career as a commentator, appearing on Glenn Beck. In 2009, she released her memoir, Going Rogue: An America Life and in March of 2010, she began appearing in a reality TV show called Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Palin describes herself as a “hockey mom” and has five children and one grandchild, born to her 18 year old daughter, Bristol, in 2008. Palin identifies herself as a “Bible-believing Christian.”
In November 2010, Palin confirmed that she was considering running in the 2012 presidential election.n