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Topic: Biographies

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Keys, Donald Wells (1911-1995)

For a time the carvings of artist Donald Wells Keys loomed over the Seattle skyline and around the Pacific Northwest. A 22-foot-tall Hoonah Raven inspired by Northwest Coast Indian art stood in front ...

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Kilbourne, Edward Corliss (1856-1959)

E. C. Kilbourne, a Seattle dentist, was the key developer of Seattle's Fremont neighborhood and a leading promoter of electric power utilities in Seattle. In order to bring interested potential homeo...

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King, Eng Ah (1863-1915)

Ah King (whose original surname was Eng) was a prominent Chinese merchant in Seattle's Chinatown in the early twentieth century, and was informally known as the "mayor of Chinatown." He earned the res...

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King, Marjorie Edwina Pitter (1921-1996)

Marjorie Edwina Pitter King was the first African American woman to serve as a Washington State legislator and was one of the state's earliest African American businesswomen. For nearly 50 years she o...

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King, Stoddard (1889-1933)

Stoddard King was a Spokane journalist, an internationally acclaimed poet, and the writer of a song widely performed during World War I. His light verse and public persona, as well as his intellect an...

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Koenig, John-Franklin (1924-2008)

Artist John-Franklin Koenig, a Seattle native who first experienced Europe during World War II through the cockpit of a tank, lived, worked, and studied in France after the war's end. Later a resident...

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Kohl-Welles, Jeanne Elizabeth Pearl (b. 1942)

Jeanne Kohl-Welles represented Seattle's 36th District in the Washington State Senate from 1994 to 2015, when she left the legislature after winning election to an open seat on the King County Council...

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Koome, Dr. Adriaan Frans (1929-1978)

Dr. Frans Koome was a Renton physician who provided unwillingly pregant women with safe abortions at a time when it was illegal to do so. On Thankgiving eve, 1969, Dr. Koome went several steps further...

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Kramer, A. Ludlow "Lud" (1932-2004)

A. Ludlow "Lud" Kramer became the youngest Secretary of State in Washington history when elected in 1964 at age 32. He was re-elected in 1968 and in 1972. A moderate Republican, he championed the righ...

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Kramer, Gideon A. (1917-2012)

A visionary designer, artist, inventor, teacher, builder, lecturer, and businessman -- Seattle's Gideon Kramer was a true renaissance man. Long fascinated by the relationship between materials, techno...

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Kurose, Aki (1925-1998)

Aki Kurose, Seattle teacher and peace activist, spent her adult life translating the lofty ideals of pacifism and social justice into practice. Her work spanned six decades and included housing desegr...

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Kvamme, Olaf (1923-2013)

Olaf Kvamme was a Seattle educator, administrator, historian, and a leader in the city's Norwegian community.

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Laing, Bruce C. (b. 1932)

Bruce C. Laing, a professional planner, was elected as a Republican to the King County Council in 1979 and spent 16 years on the Council. During his tenure, Laing, a moderate, exhibited an ability to ...

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Lambert, Russ (1867-1944)

Russ Lambert was one of Sumas's (Whatcom County) most influential pioneers. An attorney, he incorporated the town in 1891, and helped form its town government. He later represented Sumas in both hou...

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Lamphere, Phyllis Hagmoe (1922-2018)

Phyllis Hagmoe Lamphere was a longtime prominent Seattle civic leader and, from 1967 to 1978, a member of the Seattle City Council. She was born and raised in Seattle and graduated from Barnard Colleg...

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Landes, Bertha Knight (1868-1943)

Bertha Knight Landes, elected mayor of Seattle in 1926, became the first woman to lead a major American city. She ran on a platform of "municipal housekeeping," vowing to clean up city government. She...

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Langlie, Arthur B. (1900-1966)

Arthur B. Langlie was the only mayor of Seattle to become governor of the state and the only Washington governor to regain that office after losing it. Langlie was born in Minnesota and moved with his...

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Larrabee, Charles Xavier (1843-1914)

Charles Larrabee wasn't the founder of Fairhaven (which later became part of Bellingham), but in many ways he might as well have been. He was one of a handful of people who made the community's e...

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Larrabee, Frances Payne (1867-1941)

Frances Payne Larrabee was a prominent and influential Bellingham clubwoman. She was instrumental in the founding of the Bellingham Bay Home for Children, a safe haven for homeless children. She becam...

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Lassen, Leo H. (1899-1975)

Leo Lassen was a sportswriter and publicist who became a living legend as a baseball radio broadcaster in his hometown of Seattle. He covered the city's Pacific Coast League teams from 1931 to 1960. H...

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Latham, Mary A. (1844-1917)

Mary A. Latham was Spokane's first woman physician -- a heroic and ultimately tragic figure in the city's history. She came to Spokane in 1887 and specialized in the diseases of women and children. Sh...

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Lavizzo, Dr. Blanche Sellers (1925-1984)

Dr. Blanche Sellers Lavizzo was the first African American woman pediatrician in the state of Washington. She arrived in Seattle in July 1956 and began her pediatric practice on East Madison Street an...

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Lavroff, Ross N. (1936-2001)

Ross N. Lavroff served as the "voice" of the historic 1975 Apollo-Soyuz docking among other assignments as an interpreter. The Ukraine-born Russian served numerous U.S. government and international ag...

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Lawrence, Jacob (1917-2000) and Gwendolyn Knight (1913-2005)

Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight, two of the country's preeminent visual artists, moved to Seattle in 1971 when he accepted a teaching position in University of Washington's art department. The two...

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