|Governor of Alaska|
June 5, 1957 –August 1, 1958
|Preceded by||Waino Hendrickson (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Waino Hendrickson (Acting)|
Michael Anthony Stepovich
March 12, 1919
Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.
|Died||February 14, 2014 94) (aged|
San Diego, California, U.S.
|Education|| University of Portland |
Gonzaga University (BA)
University of Notre Dame (LLB)
|Years of service||1943–1947|
|Rank||Yeoman (Third Class)|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Michael Anthony "Mike" Stepovich (March 12, 1919 – February 14, 2014) was an American lawyer who, from 1957 to 1958, served as the last non-acting Governor of Alaska Territory. Following his education and military service during World War II, Stepovich established a law practice in his home town of Fairbanks, Alaska and began his political career by winning three terms in the Alaska Territorial legislature. During his term as governor, he was a leading advocate in the effort to gain statehood for Alaska. Following Alaska's admission to the Union, he made an unsuccessful run for a U.S. Senate seat and two unsuccessful attempts to be elected Governor of Alaska.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Fairbanks is a home rule city and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.
Stepovich was born to a well-known Serbian miner father, Michael, "Wise Mike" Stepovich,and a Montenegrin Croat mother, Olga, in Fairbanks, Alaska on March 12, 1919. His parents divorced when he was 6 months old and his mother took him to Portland, Oregon, where he was raised by his mother and stepfather. Stepovich was educated in parochial schools and Portland's Columbia Preparatory School before enrolling at the University of Portland in 1937. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1940 and from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Laws in 1943.
The Croats have a minority in Boka Kotorska, a coastal region in Montenegro, the largest of their kind in Tivat. The three municipalities making up the Bay of Kotor include 4,519 Croats or 6.70%. They are also known as Bokelji, a common name for all inhabitants for of Boka Kotorska. Tivat is home to the minority political party Croatian Civic Initiative, and to the National Council of Croats in Montenegro. Kotor is home to Croatian Civic Society of Montenegro.
Portland is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. As of 2018, Portland had an estimated population of 653,115, making it the 25th most populated city in the United States, and the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 2.4 million people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area (MSA), making it the 25th most populous in the United States. Its combined statistical area (CSA) ranks 19th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million. Approximately 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area.
A parochial school is a private primary or secondary school affiliated with a religious organization, and whose curriculum includes general religious education in addition to secular subjects, such as science, mathematics and language arts. The word "parochial" comes from the same root as "parish", and parochial schools were originally the educational wing of the local parish church. Christian parochial schools are often called "church schools" or "Christian schools". In Ontario, parochial schools are called "separate schools".
After completing his law degree, Stepovich enlisted in the United States Navy and was assigned to Camp Parks' legal office.After three-and-a-half years of military service, he was discharged as a yeoman third class. Following his discharge in 1947, he returned to Portland for a short time to court his future wife before moving to Fairbanks, Alaska. In Fairbanks he took his bar examination, was appointed city attorney by the end of the year, and established a private practice.
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. It has the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 336,978 personnel on active duty and 101,583 in the Ready Reserve, the U.S. Navy is the third largest of the U.S. military service branches in terms of personnel. It has 290 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of June 2019, making it the third-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force and the United States Army.
A bar examination, or bar exam, is the examination which is administered by a jurisdiction's bar association that a lawyer needs to pass before being admitted to the bar of that jurisdiction.
A city attorney can be an elected or appointed position in city and municipal government in the United States. The city attorney is the attorney representing the city or municipality.
Stepovich began his political career in 1950 when, running as a Republican, he won a seat in the Alaska Territorial House of Representatives.Two year later he advanced to take a seat in the Alaska Territorial Senate. He remained in the senate for two terms, becoming the minority leader in 1955.
The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.
In U.S. politics, the minority leader is the floor leader of the second largest caucus in a legislative body. Given the two-party nature of the U.S. system, the minority leader is almost inevitably either a Republican or a Democrat. The position could be considered similar to that of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliamentary systems. In bicameral legislatures, the counterpart to the minority leader in the lower house is the Speaker, and the majority leader is hence only the second-most senior member of the majority caucus. Contrastingly, in upper houses the titular Speaker is frequently a separately elected officer such as a lieutenant governor or vice president.
The appointment of Stepovich as Governor of Alaska Territory came as a result of a recommendation by US Secretary of the Interior Fred Seaton. Seaton had traveled to the territory to interview potential candidates following the resignation of Governor B. Frank Heintzleman.While the Fairbanks attorney had not applied for the position, Seaton was still impressed by him. President Dwight Eisenhower nominated Stepovich for the position on May 9, 1957 and he took office on June 5 as the territory's first native-born governor.
Benjamin Franklin Heintzleman was an American forester who spent much of his career supporting the development of Alaska Territory. Following a career with the United States Forest Service he was appointed Governor of Alaska Territory, a position he held from 1953 till 1957. During his term as governor he continued to support economic development but was largely opposed to efforts granting statehood to Alaska.
Much of the new governor's term was spent lobbying for Alaskan statehood.In this effort he traveled widely through the Continental United States speaking and giving interviews on behalf of the territory. His efforts even included a January 19, 1958 appearance on the game show What's My Line?
President Eisenhower signed the Alaskan Statehood Bill on July 7, 1958. Following this event, Stepovich issued a proclamation setting the dates for primary and general elections to determine officeholders for the new state.The Territorial Governor then resigned on August 1, 1958 to run for a seat in the United States Senate. Following his departure, Territorial Secretary Waino Edward Hendrickson succeeded as Acting Governor.
Stepovich's bid for a United States Senate seat was unsuccessful. He was defeated by Ernest Gruening in the November 25, 1958 election, held just before Alaska became a state on January 3, 1959.
In 1960, Stepovich campaigned against a ballot initiative to move the state capital from Juneau to Anchorage.
Stepovich ran for governor of Alaska in 1962, but was defeated by incumbent William Allen Egan by a narrow margin.
Stepovich lost to Wally Hickel in the Republican primary for governor in 1966. This was his final campaign for office.
Following his unsuccessful Senate run, Stepovich returned to his legal practice in Fairbanks.He remained there until 1978 when he and his wife relocated to Medford, Oregon. Despite the move, the former governor still maintained his legal residence in Fairbanks.
Stepovich married Matilda Baricevic in November 1947. The marriage produced thirteen children: Antonia, Maria, Michael, Peter, Christopher, Dominic, Theodore, Nicholas, James, Laura, Nada, Andrea, and Melissa.His daughter Nada married NBA player John Stockton.
On November 25, 2003, Stepovich's wife, Matilda, died.
Stepovich was granted an honorary doctorate by the University of Alaska Fairbanks on May 10, 2009.
While visiting his son in San Diego, California, Stepovich suffered a head injury as result of a fall.He died on February 14, 2014 after spending six days in a hospital. Stepovich's body was returned to Fairbanks, Alaska. A memorial service was held for him at Sacred Heart Cathedral on February 28, 2014 followed by burial at Birch Hill Cemetery.
Theodore Fulton Stevens Sr. was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Alaska from 1968 to 2009. He was the longest-serving Republican U.S. Senator in history at the time he left office; his record was surpassed in January 2017 by Orrin Hatch from Utah. He was President pro tempore of the United States Senate in the 108th and 109th Congresses from January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2007 and was the third U.S. Senator to hold the title of President pro tempore emeritus.
Ernest Henry Gruening was an American journalist and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, Gruening was the Governor of the Alaska Territory from 1939 until 1953, and a United States Senator from Alaska from 1959 until 1969.
William Allen Egan was an American Democratic politician. He served as the first governor of the State of Alaska from January 3, 1959 to 1966 and 1970 to 1974. Born in Valdez, Alaska, Egan is one of only two governors in the state's history to have been born in Alaska. He was the Democratic nominee in five gubernatorial elections.
The Alaska Statehood Act was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on July 7, 1958, allowing Alaska to become the 49th U.S. state on January 3, 1959.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is a morning daily newspaper serving the city of Fairbanks, Alaska, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the Denali Borough, and the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the farthest north daily in the United States, and one of the farthest north in the world. The oldest continuously operating daily in Alaska, by circulation it is the second-largest daily in the state. It was purchased by the Helen E. Snedden Foundation in 2016. The Snedden family were longtime owners of the News-Miner, selling it to a family trust for Dean Singleton and Richard Scudder, founders of the Media News Group in 1992.
The Miss Alaska USA competition, previously known as Miss Alaska Universe, is the pageant that selects the representative for the state Alaska in the Miss USA pageant and the name of the title held by its winner.
Burke Riley was an American legislator, lawyer and public official on territorial, state and national levels. He was a signer of the Alaska Constitution, elected as one of seven at-large delegates from the First Division.
Austin Eugene "Cap" Lathrop was an American politician, industrialist, and outspoken opponent of Alaskan statehood. He has been called "Alaska's first home-grown millionaire."
Robert Bruce "Bob" Atwood was the long-time editor and publisher of the Anchorage Times, and a proponent of Alaska statehood.
John E. Manders was Mayor of Anchorage, Alaska from 1945–1946 and a leading voice among opponents of Alaskan statehood.
The Alaska Democratic Party is the affiliate branch of the United States Democratic Party in the state of Alaska, headquartered in Anchorage.
Warren Arthur Taylor was an American Democratic politician from Alaska active during its territorial period and first years of statehood. He became the first Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives.
In the U.S. state of Alaska, Outside refers to any non-Alaska location, most often referring to other U.S. states. The term has been in use since at least the beginning of the 20th century and is believed to be an adaptation of a similar Canadian term used in the northern portion of that country and referring to southern Canada. The expression is typically used in an adverbial phrase following some form of the word "go", but it is also used as a simple noun. Examples would include,
Edith Rose Bullock was an American businesswoman and politician active in Alaska during its territorial and early statehood eras. She was named "Alaskan of the Year" in 1979, making her the first woman to be given the title. Bullock was also the first woman to be named to the Alaska Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, she was named to the inaugural induction class of the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame.
James C. Colver is an American politician from Alaska. A Republican, he is a former member of the Alaska House of Representatives, serving House District 9 from 2015 through 2016. He is also a former assemblyman for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
Nicholas Stepovich is an American politician and businessman.
Olga Katherine Torkelsen "Katie" Hurley, was the Secretary to Alaska Territorial Governor Ernest Gruening from 1944 to until his departure from office in 1953. She was Chief Clerk to the Alaska Constitutional Convention in 1955-56 and the secretary to the State Senate for five terms. In 1984, she was elected to seat 16-A in the state house, serving until January 1987.
The history of the Jews in Alaska began before the Alaska Purchase in 1867. Jews from Imperial Russia lived there periodically as fur traders, and a Jewish community has existed since the 1880s. The Klondike and Nome gold rushes attracted Jews to Alaska to seek their fortunes as miners and businessmen and resulted in the first organized Jewish communities. In the Nazi period, Jewish refugee resettlement in Alaska was seriously considered by the government, but after facing backlash, never came to be. Alaskan Jews played a significant role in business and politics before and after statehood, and have included mayors, judges, senators and governors. Today, there are Jews living in every urban area of the state.
| Governor of Alaska |
|Party political offices|
|First|| Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Alaska |
| Republican nominee for Governor of Alaska |
| Earliest Serving Governor Still Living|