Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin (born October 18, 1990) is an American public speaker, reality television personality, and real estate agent. She is the oldest daughter and second of five children of Todd and Sarah Palin.
Palin competed in the fall 2010 season of Dancing with the Stars and reached the finals, finishing in third place. In summer 2011, Palin released a memoir. In summer 2012, she starred in the Lifetime show Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp. Her most recent television series was as a member of the fall celebrity cast of Dancing with the Stars‘s 15th season in 2012, where she was eliminated in the fourth week of competition.
Palin was born in Wasilla, Alaska, to parents Todd and Sarah (née Heath) Palin. She was named “Bristol” for the Bristol Inn where her mother Sarah was employed; Bristol, Connecticut, the headquarters city of ESPN, where her mother Sarah hoped to work as a sportscaster; and the Bristol Bay area of Alaska, where her father Todd grew up. Her mother, Sarah, is of English, Irish, and German ancestry. Her father, Todd has Yup’ik (from a great-grandmother), Dutch, and English ancestry. Bristol is a Native American as a lineal descendant of her father Todd, who is a native enrollee under the 1970 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, making her a member of the Yup’ik tribe.
Palin was raised largely in Wasilla and attended Juneau-Douglas High School when her mother was governor of Alaska. During 2008, she briefly lived in Anchorage with her aunt and uncle where she attended West Anchorage High School. After returning to Wasilla, she attended and then graduated from Wasilla High School in May 2009.
Bristol Palin was first thrown into the national spotlight after Sen John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate in late August 2008, his advisers had already been informed of her 17-year-old daughter Bristol’s pregnancy, which they believed would be a political liability because the teen was unmarried. On September 1, the opening day of the 2008 Republican National Convention, it was publicly announced that Bristol Palin was pregnant and engaged to Levi Johnston, her baby’s father. Palin’s entire immediate family, along with Johnston, appeared at the convention. McCain’s advisers reportedly thought a wedding between Johnston and Palin would boost the waning popularity of the McCain-Palin ticket. Johnston denied claims that he was being pressured into a shotgun wedding, stating, “We were planning on getting married a long time ago with or without the kid. That was the plan from the start.”