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Topic: Biographies

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Whitman, Marcus (1802-1847)

Marcus Whitman, a man with unwavering cultural and religious convictions, was one of the first missionaries in the Northwest. He and his wife, Narcissa, established a mission on Cayuse land near Walla...

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Whitman, Narcissa Prentiss (1808-1847)

Narcissa Whitman might have lived out her life in historical obscurity but for two developments. The first was her decision, in 1836, to marry a missionary named Marcus Whitman (1802-1847) and travel ...

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Whittaker, James W. (b. 1929)

Seattle native Jim Whittaker turned a love of nature and a thirst for adventure into a string of precedent-setting achievements. He was the first American to climb to the top of Mount Everest, the wor...

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Whitworth, George F. (1816-1907)

George Frederick Whitworth and his family were among the early pioneers to settle in the southern Puget Sound area. A native of England, he immigrated as a child with his family to the United States, ...

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Wild Man of the Wynoochee

A year and a half after killing two teenage boys on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, and then disappearing into the deeply forested Wynoochee Valley (in southern Grays Harbor County), John Tornow -- a ...

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Wilkes, Charles (1798-1877)

Lt. Charles Wilkes led the first U.S. Navy expedition to explore the Pacific Ocean in 1838. He surveyed Puget Sound and named dozens of bays, coves, rivers, islands, and land formations, including Ell...

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William Three Mountains the Elder and William Three Mountains the Younger

William Three Mountains the Elder (ca. 1823-1883) and his son, William Three Mountains the Younger (1864-1937), served as important leaders of the Spokane tribe from the fur trade and missionary perio...

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Williams, Christina McDonald (1847-1925)

Christina McDonald McKenzie Williams (1847-1925), the daughter of Hudson's Bay Company chief trader Angus McDonald (1816-1889), spent her childhood and young adulthood at Fort Colvile on the Columbia ...

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Williams, Jeanette (1914-2008)

Alice Jeanette Williams had a long and productive career as a political force in Seattle. She was the first woman chair of the King County Democrats and a 20-year member of the Seattle City Council (1...

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Williams, W. Walter (1894-1983)

W. Walter Williams led the Seattle-based Continental Mortgage for nearly half a century, guiding the business from modest beginnings in the University District to its ranking as one of the top mortgag...

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Williams, Walter B. (1921-2006)

Walter B. Williams, son of W. Walter Williams (1894-1983), not only assumed leadership of Seattle's Continental Mortgage from his father, continuing to grow and strengthen the firm through the 1990s, ...

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Williamson, Joe D. (1909-1994)

Over the course of his lifetime, much of it spent on the water, Joe D. Williamson (1909-1994) documented a wide swath of Northwest history with his camera, yet he did not consider photography his prim...

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Wilson, August (1945-2005)

August Wilson was a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright who lived the final 15 years of his life in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. His 10-play cycle of dramas covered each decade of ...

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Wilson, George (1901-1963)

George Wilson played football at the University of Washington from 1923 to 1925. He ran, passed, caught passes, punted, and played linebacker on defense, a 60-minute player. In 1925 his teammates sele...

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Wilson, T. A. (1921-1999)

T. A. Wilson, known to many simply as "T," was a small-town boy from the Midwest who eventually became president and CEO of The Boeing Company in Seattle. Although his tenure at the company's helm beg...

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Wineberry, Jesse Calvin (b. 1955)

Jesse Wineberry served five terms in the Washington State House of Representatives from 1985 to 1995. He was first elected at age 29 while still attending law school. He later became the state's first...

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Wojahn, R. Lorraine Kendall (1920-2012)

Describing herself as a moderate Democrat, a social liberal, and a practical feminist, R. Lorraine Wojahn of Tacoma was a powerful Washington state legislator for 32 years. She served in the House of ...

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Wolf, Fred L. (1877-1957)

No one better deserves the title "leading citizen" than newspaperman Fred L. Wolf (1877-1957) of Newport, county seat of Pend Oreille County. From the time of his purchase of the Newport Miner in 190...

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Wolf, Hazel (1898-2000)

Hazel Wolf was an environmental and social activist whose causes ranged from the rights of workers, women, and minorities to the protection of wilderness, wetlands, and wildlife. She was still a young...

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Wolff, Tobias (b. 1945)

Tobias Wolff is a writer and novelist best known for his memoir This Boy's Life, which tells the story of Wolff's adolescence in 1950s Washington State. Thirty years after its 1989 publication, The&nb...

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Wood, William D. (1858-1917)

William D. Wood, an attorney, land speculator, electric trolley line president, and Seattle mayor, was a conspicuous figure in the business and political life of Seattle for more than a quarter centur...

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Woods, Rufus (1878-1950)

Longtime owner, editor, and publisher of the Wenatchee Daily World and a major instigator of the Grand Coulee Dam, Rufus Woods was a titan of twentieth-century Pacific Northwest development. He was th...

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Woods, William P. (1907-1990)

William P. Woods was a civil engineer who worked his way up from pipefitter's helper to corporate leader in the natural gas industry. A native of Selma, Alabama, he was named president of the Washingt...

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Woodward, Walter (1910-2001)

In this People's History Gerald Elfendahl of Bainbridge Island remembers the Bainbridge Island journalist and defender of human rights Walter C. Woodward Jr. (1910-2001). Woodward was an exemplary jou...

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