I arrived with my family in Seward in 1953, at age ten. In 1960, I graduated from Anchorage High School and in 1970 opened what was to become the world-famous Chilkoot Charlie's nightclub, which I owned and operated for forty-five years, selling the operation to my employees in 2015.
I have completed fifteen marathons and summited the highest mountain on six of the seven continents, reaching 27,500 feet on Mt. Everest, the seventh, on my third attempt at age fifty. I graduated from the University of San Francisco with a bachelor's degree in politics and a minor in philosophy, later earning a master's degree in writing from Alaska Pacific University.
Elected twice to the Anchorage City Council in the early '70s before unification, I also served simultaneously on the Anchorage Borough Assembly. I am the last surviving member of the last Anchorage City Council. I also served twice as Chairman of the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control board, first appointed by Governor Cowper and then by Governor Murkowski.
I reside year-round with my wife, Shelli, and our standard poodle, Jacques, across beautiful Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska. I have a daughter, Michele, a son, Michael, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.