Nestled in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, North Idaho is a picturesque region characterized by its rugged mountains, lush forests, and pristine lakes. While many associate North Idaho with its natural beauty and recreational opportunities, this region has also been a fertile ground for the growth and development of some truly remarkable individuals. In this blog post, we will be celebrating famous people from North Idaho who have made significant contributions to various fields, such as music, film, sports, and politics.
- Patty Duke (1946-2016) - Born in Elmhurst, New York, Patty Duke was a talented actress who moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, in the early 1990s. Duke was a celebrated actress, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "The Miracle Worker" at just 16 years old. She also had a successful television career, most notably starring in her own show, "The Patty Duke Show." In her later years, Duke became an advocate for mental health awareness, sharing her own experiences with bipolar disorder to help reduce stigma and promote understanding.
- Sarah Palin (b. 1964) - Although best known as the former governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, Sarah Palin actually hails from Sandpoint, Idaho. Palin, born Sarah Louise Heath, moved to Alaska with her family when she was just three months old. As a politician, Palin was known for her charisma, conservative values, and dedication to energy independence. Despite not being born and raised in North Idaho, Palin's connection to the region still garners attention and pride from the locals.
- Trevor Prangley (b. 1972) - Trevor Prangley, a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and wrestler, was born and raised in South Africa but now calls Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, home. Prangley has competed in several prominent MMA organizations, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce. Throughout his career, Prangley has demonstrated exceptional skill in both wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, earning numerous accolades and a loyal fan following.
- Mark Rypien (b. 1962) - Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Mark Rypien moved to Spokane, Washington, as a child and later attended Shadle Park High School. Rypien went on to become an accomplished professional football player, best known for his time as a quarterback for the Washington Redskins. Rypien, a two-time Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl XXVI MVP, has strong ties to North Idaho, where he owns a home and frequently participates in local charity events.
- Jake Plummer (b. 1974) - Jake Plummer, a former NFL quarterback, was born in Boise, Idaho, but spent most of his childhood in North Idaho's Smelterville. Plummer played college football at Arizona State University before being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 1997. Throughout his career, Plummer played for the Cardinals and the Denver Broncos, earning the nickname "Jake the Snake" for his impressive ability to evade tacklers. Although Plummer retired from professional football in 2007, he remains an active figure in the North Idaho community.
From the silver screen to the gridiron, North Idaho has produced numerous talented and notable individuals who have made lasting impacts in their respective fields. These celebrated individuals not only showcase the diverse range of talent emerging from the region but also serve as inspiring role models for the next generation of North Idahoans.