Palin was a union member at the 'United Steelworkers.' He joined one of Alaska's biggest oil producers, 'Prudhoe Bay' oil field (BP), in the North Slope oil fields, as a part-time employee. He ended up with an 18-year association with the company.
In 2007, Palin resigned from his job at ‘BP’ as a production supervisor, to avoid conflicts of interest during his wife's run for the position of governor. ‘BP’ was heavily involved in natural gas pipeline negotiations, along with his wife's administration.
Palin had to return to BP 7 months later to support his family. However, he accepted a non-management position of a production operator to avoid any conflict. Palin resigned on September 18, 2009, citing family reasons.
Palin is a commercial salmon fisherman, posted at Bristol Bay on the Nushagak River.
In 1989, Palin first registered to vote. He then remained an 'Alaskan Independence Party' member from October 1995 to July 2002 (except for a few months in 2000).
Meanwhile, Palin started pursuing snowboarding. He has competed in the 'Tesoro Iron Dog' championship every year since 1993. His first win was in 1995, with partner Dwayne Drake. Palin registered victories in 2000 and 2002, with Dusty Van Meter, and in 2007, with Scott Davis.
In 2008, Palin was heavily injured during his 'Tesoro Iron Dog' championship. He was thrown 70 feet from his machine and ended up breaking his arm. Palin was hospitalized but still managed to finish at the fourth spot.
In August 2008, 'The Politico' reported that Palin was always an independent (undeclared) voter and was never registered as a 'Republican.' His wife's 2009 memoir, 'Going Rogue: An American Life,' mentions that he was not registered with any party.
On September 12, 2008, the Alaska legislature summoned Palin to testify on his controversial role in the termination of Commissioner Walt Monegan and the actions of Alaska state soldier Mike Wooten. He was a rounded figure in the whole controversy and had brought information that he had sourced from Monegan's private detective.
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A few days later, it was reported that Palin had refused to testify, as he doubted the investigation’s legitimacy.
Again, in September 2008, media revealed that Palin had been charged with driving under the influence in 1986, which affected his wife's campaign negatively. He was even arrested for the same.
From 2006 to 2009, Palin was the first gentleman, or the "First Dude," during which he promoted jobs and training in the oil and gas industry as a great opportunity for young Alaskans who could not afford college education.
Palin advised the workforce development governor on the natural gas pipeline issues that his wife supported. In February 2010, Palin exchanged the emails that Alaska State had released to 'msnbc.com' reporter Bill Dedman, with state officials. The emails presented Palin as a critical figure in the governor's office and highlighted numerous discussions on a wide range of activities.
As a community volunteer, Palin started working in youth sports in 2009. He coached hockey and basketball. He was on the judging panel of the 2008 'Miss Alaska' pageant. Incidentally, his wife was the 1984 ‘Miss Alaska’ second runner-up and ‘Miss Congeniality.’ He had contested on the 'NBC' celebrity reality show 'Stars Earn Stripes' in August 2012.
In March 2016, in his next 'Tesoro Iron Dog' championship, Palin scratched at checkpoint Nenana, which was 112 miles from the finish. He had multiple injuries, broken and fractured ribs, a broken shoulder blade, a fractured clavicle, leg injuries, and a collapsed lung. Palin finally recovered after days of intensive care at the hospital.
Family & Personal Life
Palin is of Yup'ik (from one of his great-grandmothers), Dutch, and English descent. His stepmother, Faye Palin, a pro-choice registered ‘Democrat,’ ran for the 2002 campaign for the mayor of Wasilla but lost to Dianne M. Keller, who was endorsed by Palin’s wife.
Palin had met Sarah at a basketball game in high school. They got married 8 years later, in August 1988. The two had to elope, as they did not have enough money for a wedding.
Their son Track Charles James (born in 1989) and daughter Bristol Sheeran Marie (born in 1990) have both attended the 'Wasilla High School.' Track was enlisted in the ‘US Army’ and later posted to Iraq.
Palin's other children are Willow Bianca Faye (born in 1994), Piper Indy Grace (born in 2001), and Trig Paxson Van (born in 2008). Trig has Down syndrome. Palin has five grandchildren as well.
In 2019, Palin filed for divorce from Sarah at the 'Anchorage Superior Court' on the grounds of "incompatibility of temperament."
Palin holds a 'Private Pilot Certificate' and owns an aircraft and a 'Piper PA-18 Super Cub.'
A thoroughbred racehorse has been named after Palin's nickname, “First Dude.”