Former Washington State Senator Paull Shin has been tapped to be the grand marshal of Tour de Terrace parade, which will start at 6:45 p.m., Friday, July 25.
Shin retired from the Senate shortly after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He served the 21st District, which includes includes all or parts of Edmonds, Lynnwood, Everett and Mukilteo, for 17 years.
Shin was born in Korea in 1935. Orphaned at the age of four, he lived on the streets of Seoul begging for food until the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, at which point he became a houseboy to a group of U.S. Army officers. In 1954, one of them, a dentist named Ray Paull, adopted Shin and took him home to Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite never having been educated in Korea, and knowing little English, Shin completed a GED in 18 months. Shin went on to earn a BA in political science from Brigham Young University, an MPIA from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MA and PhD from the University of Washington. After being elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1992, he was elected to the Washington State Senate in 1998 and was the first Korean American elected to the Senate.
The University of Washington Jackson School recently named the Korea Studies Program for Shin.
Shin has played a pivotal role in the development of Korea Studies at the University of Washington. He garnered support for Korea Studies from the Korean community, both locally and internationally, as well as supporting legislation to benefit the program.
Shin also championed legislation in the Washington State Legislature to create the University of Washington Center for Human Rights, which is now one of the best-known centers of its kind in the country.