Seattle’s Hall of Fame

The innovators and trailblazers who put Seattle on the map
From left: Barbara Earl Thomas, Larry Gossett, Fran Bigelow, Martha Choe, Kent Stowell, Francia Russell, Gene Juarez, Tom Douglas, Gary Locke, Alison Holcomb, Joni Earl, Paul Dorpat, Marie McCaffrey

Photographed on September 7, 2016, in the Olympic Suite at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Over the years, the 1924 hotel has hosted multiple presidents (including two visits by FDR) and celebrities (from Bing Crosby to Elvis), many of whom have called the suite home. 

Every city possesses its own, unique spirit—its zeitgeist. It’s what makes a metropolis move, defines its identity and propels it forward. We owe much of ours to our city’s shapers—those leaders, trendsetters and trailblazers who, over the past 50 years, have transformed the town in extraordinary ways. In honor of Seattle magazine’s 50th anniversary, we’re spotlighting some of these innovators—all nominated by our panel of experts (below). Our list started out much longer and was culled after many hours of debate. 

The people on these pages—living legends who have made a major contribution during the past five decades—are influential in their own right, but are also just a representative cross section of the many talented visionaries, big thinkers and risk-takers who have shaped our city into the remarkable place it is.

Food and Beverage // Beauty // Music // Arts and Culture // Books

Philanthropy // Sports // Transportation // Architecture //Technology and Business

Urban Spaces // Commercial Development // Outdoors and Environment 

Activism/Social Justice // Civic Discourse and Community Leaders // Civil Rights // Cannabis

Politics // History/Preservation // Media/Journalism 

Education // Health Care // Research/Medicine/Science

>> Ed. Note: In 2003, we ran a similar story. Click here to read "City Shapers." <<

Most Influential Advisory Panel 2016
As part of Seattle magazine’s 50th anniversary celebration, we created an advisory panel and invited members to nominate some of the most influential Seattleites from the past 50 years. During a series of meetings, these individuals helped to vet the candidates via some intense and lively debate. 

Joni Baltermultimedia journalist and host of Civic Cocktail

Kenan Block, owner, Kenan Block/Media & Communications

Rita Brogan, founder, PRR Inc.

John Cook, cofounder, GeekWire

C.R. Douglas, political analyst, Q13 Fox News

Rebecca Hughes, senior media consultant, Group Health Research Institute

Naomi Ishisaka, journalist and photographer 

James Keblas, founder, City Inspired

Alison Krupnick, Seattle-based writer

Diane Mapes, writer/editor, Fred Hutch News Service, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Marie McCaffrey, executive director and cofounder,

Mary McWilliams, former executive director, Washington Health Alliance

Steve Scher, part-time instructor at the University of Washington and former host of the KUOW-FM Weekday program

From Seattle and Seattle Business magazines:

Rachel Hart, Virginia Smyth, Linda Morgan, Jennifer McCullum, Jim Demetre, Jessica Yadegaran, Knute Berger, Leslie Helm and John Levesque

Project coordinator: Mandolin Brassaw

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