Joe Reddington (1917)
Joe Reddington was the Father of "The Last Great Race on Earth", the Iditarod, run by dog sleds and mushers across Alaska every March since 1973. The race was started to commemorate the Serum Run of 1925 when diphtheria serum was rushed by dog sled over the 1000-mile Iditarod trail from Anchorage to Nome to save lives from the disease.
Reddington was a talented musher and race promoter, convincing people to sponsor the event and contribute prize money. He and his wife Vi offered a piece of their own land as a prize in one of the early races.
Today people travel from around the world to serve as check-point help, veterinarians, and trail volunteers for the race Joe Reddington started. It is a community event for all of Alaska. Alaskan children may be more likely to know Iditarod statistics and mushers than NBA or NFL players. Everyone knows or follows a favorite musher. If you live in Alaska, you understand the conditions the dogs and mushers survive to complete the race. That same determination is part of Alaska's culture.
Click on any of the names below to find out more...
Looking for a famous American?
This page presents short biographies of more than 200 famous Americans drawn from our unit, "The 50 States." These personalities are arranged by theme.
Just click a theme at the top of the page to view a selection list for that theme.
|Gutzon Borglum||Walt Disney||Jabez Gorham|
|Matt Groening||William Hanna||Marsden Hartley|
|Winslow Homer||Peter Hurd||Hank Ketcham|
|Bill Mauldin||Jackson Pollock||Howard Pyle|
|Norman Rockwell||Charles Schulz||Gilbert Stuart|
|Frank Lloyd Wright||Andrew Wyeth|
|Phineas Taylor "P.T." Barnum||Clyde Barrow||John Wilkes Booth|
|Butch Cassidy||William "Buffalo Bill" Cody||Davy Crockett|
|Jesse James||Evel Knievel||Harland David "Colonel" Sanders|
|Jefferson R. "Soapy" Smith|
|Benny Benson||Sitting Bull||Cesar Chavez|
|John Dewey||Geronimo||Crazy Horse|
|Jesse Jackson||Chief Joseph||Martin Luther King, Jr.|
|Queen Lydia Liliuokalani||Russell Means||Osceola|
|Elizabeth Peratrovich||Sacagawea||Chief Washakie|
|Booker T. Washington||Jack Wilson Wovoka|
Pioneers and "Firsts":
Politicians & Activists:
|Hank Aaron||Andre Agassi||Danny Ainge|
|Johnny Bench||Yogi Berra||Paul "Bear" Bryant|
|Dale Earnhart||Lou Gehrig||Eric Heiden|
|Michael Jordan||Evel Knievel||Phil Knight|
|Joe Reddington||Mary Lou Retton||Picabo Street|
|Jesse Ventura||Jerry West|
Writers & Poets: