Dayton, Aug 29 : Republican presidential candidate John McCain has named Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate.
Fox and CNN said campaign sources confirmed the surprise choice of Palin, 44, just minutes away from the start of a rally here where the Republican will make the official announcement.
Sarah Palin, John McCain's vice presidential pick and the first female governor of Alaska, is seen as a rising star within the Republican Party.
She became the youngest person to assume the top office of the 49th State in 2006. Her anti-abortion stance is certain to appeal to evangelicals, while her views on the threats of climate change mirror those of Senator McCain.
Born in Sandpoint, Idaho, on Feb. 11, 1964, Palin moved with her family at the age of three months to Wasilla, Alaska, though she returned to her birth state to attend the University of Idaho, where she studied journalism and graduated in 1987 with a bachelor's degree.
Palin is the mother of five children - Bristol, Willow, Piper, Track and Trig, who was born in April with Down syndrome.
She grew up in Wasilla, just outside of Anchorage, played on Wasilla's state champion girls' basketball team in 1982, wore the crown of Miss Wasilla in 1984 and competed in the Miss Alaska contest.
She began her professional career as a television sports reporter, but after she married her husband, Todd, she helped run his family's commercial fishing business. Other professional endeavors included the ownership of a snow machine, watercraft and all-terrain-vehicle business.
She ran for Wasilla City Council in 1992, winning her seat by opposing tax increases. Four years later, she was elected mayor of Wasilla at age 32 by knocking off a three-term incumbent.
At the end of her second term, party leaders encouraged her to enter the 2002 race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. Against veteran legislators with far more experience, Palin finished second by fewer than 2,000 votes, making a name for herself in statewide politics.