"I would rather cross the political aisle than cross the people."

- Governor Dan Evans

Descended from territorial pioneers, Evans was born in Seattle in 1925. The Eagle Scout was commissioned a naval officer at 19, earned engineering degrees at the University of Washington, and was elected to the Legislature in 1956. Eight years later, against long odds, he was elected governor.

Mark Evans Elliot Marks of The Nature Conservancy with Governors Dan Evans and Mike Lowry. Washington Wildlife & Recreation Commission

He was named one of the 10 outstanding U.S. governors of the 20th century in a Harvard study.

After a then-unprecedented three consecutive terms as governor, Evans became president of The Evergreen State College. And in 1983 a U.S. Senator.

Together with Mike Lowry, a former foe who became a friend, Evans founded the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition in 1989.