14 February 2014

Last Surviving Governor of Territorial Alaska Has Passed Away

A big chapter of Alaska history closed Friday morning when Michael Anthony "Mike" Stepovich, the last surviving Territorial governor of Alaska, died in San Diego, Calif. He was 94.

... He enlisted in the Navy in World War II and set up a law office in Fairbanks after the war.

"I was a defense attorney, and I did a lot of criminal work," Stepovich said in a 2009 interview with the Daily News.

The political scene in Alaska began to heat up with talk of statehood in the post-war years and Stepovich ran for office as a Republican. He won a seat in the territorial legislature in 1950 and was elected to the territorial senate two years later. In 1957, President Eisenhower appointed him to the office of Territorial Governor of Alaska. He was the first person born in Alaska to hold the position.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Rest in peace, Governor.


Teresa said...

May he rest in peace. He lived a long life and it sounds as if it was a a very eventful one.

Rev. Paul said...

He was one of the "giants" who made Alaska into a state. Not many of them left, anymore. Thanks, Teresa.

threecollie said...

There is so much awesomeness in Alaska, which has mostly faded into history in the other states. You have it right up close.

Rev. Paul said...

That's true, threecollie. Quite a few of the pioneers are still with us, although that number grows ever-smaller as time goes by. I met a lady on Tuesday evening who's been here for 70 years; she's in her 90s now.