Department of Education and Early Development
Alaska State Libraries, Archives, & Museums
JUNEAU – The fifth Governor of Alaska, Bill Sheffield, will be at the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff building, home of the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, on Thursday, September 6, at 2:30 p.m., to present a copy of Bill Sheffield: A Memoir, From the Great Depression to the Governor’s Mansion and Beyond to the Alaska State Library.
Governor Sheffield recently donated 2 cubic feet of records to the Alaska State Archives, supplementing the 126 cubic feet of records received after the end of his administration. The collections include official government records created while serving as Governor of Alaska from December 1982 to December 1986. The records include photographs, recordings, correspondence, proclamations and speeches. In the future, the Governor will donate a collection of art, ephemera, and other Alaskan materials amassed during a long life in the 49th State.
William Jennings “Bill” Sheffield, often remembered for the controversial adoption of the Alaska Time Zone, shepherded the state through a major recession and made large cuts to state government, helped to develop the Red Dog Mine and negotiated purchase of the Alaska Railroad.
Born in 1928, Sheffield came from meager beginnings growing up as the son of a farmer in the Great Depression. He was sent to Anchorage in 1953 to start a TV sales and repair shop for Sears, Roebuck and Company. After becoming the top Sears salesman in the country, Sheffield bought his first hotel and founded Sheffield Enterprises in 1960. At its peak, Sheffield Enterprises owned or managed 16 hotels across the Alaska and the Yukon employing 700 people. He sold the company in 1987 to Holland America Westours.
After leaving office in 1986, Governor Sheffield served on the boards of directors for several private and non-profit organizations, acted as consultant specializing in natural resource development, served as President of the Alaska Railroad and later as Director of the Port of Anchorage.
Governor Sheffield also maintains an active presence in civic and community affairs. He is a trustee of Alaska Pacific University and a charter member of Commonwealth North. He served as Chairman of the Federal Salary Commission, and Alaska Railroad Corporation CEO and board President. In 2003, he was inducted into the Alaska Business Hall of Fame. His numerous contributions support philanthropic groups including: the March of Dimes, Special Olympics, Lunch Box, Public Radio, Providence hospital, and the University of Alaska Southeast. In recognition of his service to the railroad and the state of Alaska, the Alaska Railroad Depot at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport was named after him.
A person experiencing a disability who needs accommodation for events hosted by the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum can contact the Division’s ADA coordinator at (907) 465-2988 to make any necessary arrangements.
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