Remembered as the state of Alaska's first governor, this Democratic Party politician was in office from 1959 until 1966 and served another term (as fourth Governor of Alaska) from 1970 until 1974.
When he was just ten years old, he began working in order to support his family. Despite his struggles, he graduated from Valdez High School as the valedictorian of his class.
He coordinated Alaskan disaster response teams in the wake of the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake.
He and his five siblings grew up in Valdez, Alaska, as the children of Cora Egan and miner William Egan (who died in a 1920 avalanche). His over four-decade marriage to Desdia Neva McKittrick began in 1940 and produced a daughter named Elin and a politician son named Dennis.
He and Alaska Territory governor Ernest Gruening are both important political figures in the history of Alaska.