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Topic: Biographies

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Robbins, Tom (b. 1932)

Pacific Northwest novelist Tom Robbins, profoundly provoked and inspired by what he calls the "1960s renaissance," is often hailed as a comic/spiritual chronicler of that tumultuous decade. But his ei...

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Roberts, "Rockin' Robin" (1940-1967)

A founding father of Northwest rock 'n' roll, Tacoma's "Rockin' Robin" Roberts (1940-1967) initially sang with that town's trailblazing 1950s white rhythm & blues combo, the Blue Notes. But in mid-195...

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Robinson, Earl Hawley (1910-1991)

Seattle-born activist and musician Earl H. Robinson is remembered for writing some of the labor movement's most famous ballads, including "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night." Robinson attended West ...

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Robinson, Herb (1924-2003)

Herbert F. "Herb" Robinson was an award-winning television and newspaper journalist in Seattle who served as lead editorial writer for The Seattle Times from 1977 to 1989, and as anchor, news director...

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Rochester, Alfred Ruffner (1895-1989)

Al Rochester, a lifelong Seattle resident, was active in the Democratic Party, served on the Seattle City Council (1944-1956), and published The Seattlite. Rochester was the original advocate and foun...

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Rochester, Junius C. (1854-1902), Percy W. (1862-?), and G. A. C. (1853-1929)

Seattle's growth from a village to a city was spurred by the fortuitous geographical location of the Queen City of Puget Sound, and by a steady stream of hopeful, ambitious men and women from elsewher...

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Rockey, Jay (1928-2018)

Jay Rockey was the director of public relations for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition) and the founder of Jay Rockey Public Relations, later The Rockey Company, which became the lea...

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Roethke, Theodore (1908-1963)

Theodore Roethke, recognized by many as one of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century, taught at the University of Washington from 1947 until his death in 1963. There, he inspired a gene...

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Rogers, Nat (1898-1990)

Through hard work, dedication, and (to some degree) an interest in bridge, Nat Rogers (1898-1990) founded and helped grow Van Rogers & Waters, Inc. (now Univar USA) into North America's largest chemic...

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Rosa, Valerie (b. 1948)

Soulful Seattle singer Valerie Rosa's family roots were in Italy, Norway, and pre-statehood Alaska Territory. Her father was a professional musician who performed with prominent Seattle dance bands of...

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Rosellini, Albert Dean (1910-2011)

Albert D. Rosellini, governor of Washington state from 1956 to 1965, was born to Italian American immigrants in Tacoma on January 21, 1910. The family relocated to Seattle's Rainier Valley in 1916. De...

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Rosellini, Victor (1915-2003)

Victor Rosellini founded a string of acclaimed and successful restaurants in downtown Seattle and became known as Seattle's premiere host. He opened Rosellini's 610 in 1950, and Rosellini's Four-10 in...

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Ross, Glynn (1914-2005)

Glynn Ross was the founding General Director of the Seattle Opera, and served the opera as General Director from 1963 to 1983. Of his numerous achievements in this capacity, perhaps the most notable w...

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Ross, James Delmage (J. D.) (1872-1939)

James Delmage (J. D.) Ross is known as the Father of Seattle City Light. A firm believer in the municipal ownership of power utilities, Ross helped design and build the power plant at Cedar Falls on t...

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Ross, Michael (1941-2007)

Michael K. Ross was a Seattle politician, construction worker, and an effective and outspoken leader in the fight for civil rights and economic justice. He was known for his demonstrations in support ...

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Rossi, Father Louis (1817-1871)

Washington Territory's De Tocqueville is an apt description for Father Louis Rossi, a Catholic missionary priest who ministered for just over three years, from 1856 to 1860 in Washington Territory and...

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Royer, Bob (1943-2019)

Bob Royer was one of Seattle's deputy mayors from 1978 to 1983, working closely with his brother Charley Royer (b. 1939), who served three terms as the city's mayor from 1978 to 1990. Their mayoral ar...

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Royer, Charles (b. 1939)

The careers of Charles T. ("Charley") Royer span journalism, politics, and civic activism -- sometimes independently and sometimes in concert. He served three four-year terms as mayor of Seattle, the ...

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Ruckelshaus, William Doyle (1932-2019)

Bill Ruckelshaus played a wide and varied role in American political and agency history during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1970 he was nominated by President Richard Nixon (1913-1994) to become the first ...

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Ruffner, Ginny (b. 1952)

When Ginny Ruffner moved to Seattle in the mid-1980s, she had already mastered the lampwork technique that would make her a celebrity among art-glass devotees. Her distinctive style of glass sculpture...

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Rush, Merrilee (b. 1944)

Merrilee Rush was among the most popular homegrown singing stars that the Northwest rock 'n' roll teen scene produced during the mid 1960s. Her trademark low voice and comely looks and an exciting sta...

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Russell, Admiral James Sargent (1903-1996)

James S. Russell grew up on American Lake in Pierce County, where he developed a love of sailing. After graduating from Stadium High School in Tacoma at age 15, he tried to join the navy but was turne...

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Rust, William Ross (1850-1928)

The history of Tacoma cannot be told without the story of William Rust. Born into a Quaker family in Philadelphia, he ventured West with dreams of finding fortune in the gold rush. Using the skills an...

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Ryan, James M. (1908-1992)

James M. Ryan, known in Seattle as "Mr. Downtown," was first president and then chairman of UNICO Properties. UNICO Properties manages the 10-acre parcel of property in the heart of downtown Seattle ...

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