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Topic: Biographies

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Sinde, Yalonda (b. 1963)

The Pacific Northwest has rarely suffered from a shortage of committed political activists or spirited community leaders, but longtime Seattle organizer Yalonda Sinde remains one of the most effective...

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Skeel, Ernst Laughlin (1881-1952)

Ernst L. "Ernie" Skeel, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, migrated to Seattle in 1907 and practiced law there for 44 years, but he was better known for his wide-ranging business interests, his advocacy for...

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Skilling, John B. (1921-1998)

The innovative designs and professional achievements of structural engineer John Skilling have drawn widespread recognition for projects that shape the skyline of Seattle and other cities around the w...

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Skinner, Ned (1920-1988) and Kayla (1919-2004)

David E. "Ned" Skinner, II and his wife Katherine (LaGasa) "Kayla" Skinner were individually prominent in Seattle's civic affairs beginning in the 1940s, contributing their income, their influence, an...

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Smart Sr., Phil M. (1919-2013)

Phil Smart started selling automobiles in 1952 in Seattle and built the area's first and most-successful Mercedes-Benz dealership. He gave much of his time and effort to community service, particularl...

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Smith, Al (1916-2008)

Albert "Al" Smith, Seattle's preeminent African American photographer, was the son of a West Indies immigrant couple who settled in the heart of Seattle's Central Area around 1914. He developed an ear...

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Smith, Charles Z. (1927-2016)

Charles Z. Smith was the first African American and the first person of color to serve on the Washington State Supreme Court. He was appointed by Governor Booth Gardner (1936-2013) in 1988, and was th...

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Smith, Elmer (1888-1932)

Elmer Stuart Smith was a central figure in the Centralia Massacre that occurred on November 11, 1919. Smith had advised a group of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) members that they had a right t...

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Smith, Harry Everett (1923-1991)

Dubbed by one interviewer an "intellectual mischief-maker," artist Harry Smith was a man of varied interests who was alternately an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, abstract painter, experimental f...

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Smith, John James (1869-1910)

John James Smith was a medical doctor from West Virginia who came to the Northwest in the late 1800s to work for a mining company. He settled in Enumclaw in 1901, where he carved out a successful care...

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Smith, Palmer "Snuffy" (1922-2004)

Palmer Smith, a Seattle lawyer for more than 40 years, was a passionate advocate for the rule of law, social justice, civil rights, and education. He saw government as the path to these goals. He and ...

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Smith, Sam (1922-1995)

Sam Smith was the first black person to be elected to the Seattle City Council and the second black State Legislator from King County. He has been credited with helping to bridge the political and cul...

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Smith, Walker C. (1885-1927)

Walker C. Smith was a leading member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union also known as the Wobblies, who wrote and edited socialist newspapers, philosophical tracts, pamphlets, satirica...

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Smohalla (1815?-1895)

A Wanapum spiritual leader, Smohalla founded what became known as the Dreamer religion, which was based on the belief that if Native Americans shunned white culture and lived as their ancestors had li...

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Snyder, Sid (1926-2012)

The son of a Kelso barber, Sid Snyder eventually rose up to establish himself as a well-loved small-town grocer, a savvy real-estate investor, and a millionaire bank founder. In addition, he gained st...

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Sohappy, David (1925-1991)

U.S. Army veteran David Sohappy Sr. (1925-1991) was a Wanapum fishing activist who became the center of a national controversy involving government regulators and tribal fishers in the Pacific Northwe...

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Sohon, Gustavus (1825-1903)

Gustavus Sohon, a native of East Prussia, arrived on the Columbia River in 1852 as a private in the U.S. Army. During the following decade, he accompanied four historic expeditions across Eastern Wash...

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Sommers, Helen Elizabeth (1932-2017)

Helen Sommers was elected as a Democrat in November 1972 to represent Seattle's 36th District in the state House of Representatives. She won re-election 17 consecutive times over the next 36 years, wa...

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Spafford, Michael (b. 1935), and Elizabeth Sandvig (b. 1937)

Michael Spafford was a young art student at Pomona College in Claremont, California, in 1956 when a car accident put him out of commission for months. When he returned to school, he found another youn...

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Spear, Lillian S. (1897-1963)

Lillian E. Anderson Sylten Spear was an important player in Snohomish County's public-power movement. She began her career as an educator, served as president of the Snohomish County Parent-Teacher As...

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Spellman, John D. (1926-2018)

John D. Spellman was the first King County Executive and later served as governor of Washington. Elected Executive in 1969, shortly after the County's Home Rule Charter created the position, Spellman ...

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Sperry, Robert (1927-1998)

One of America's preeminent ceramists, Robert Sperry was a restless creative force who helped shape the University of Washington's ceramics program into one of the country's most influential. Hailed a...

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Spithill, Alexander (1824-1920)

Alexander Spithill was an early Puget Sound pioneer, arriving in October 1856 and settling initially at Utsalady on Camano Island. In 1861 he started what was probably the first logging camp in the Ma...

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Sprague, John Wilson (1817-1893)

John Wilson Sprague was born in the state of New York, became a successful businessman in Ohio, served the Union cause with distinction during the Civil War, and then moved to the Northwest in 1870 as...

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