AK Senate: Al Gross (D)
Al Gross was born in the wake of an avalanche in Juneau in 1962. His family’s house, at the foot of Mt. Juneau, was nearly buried in snow just days before he was born. His mom, Shari, was home while his dad Av was out of town on business. Neighbors helped Shari dig out and day after day brought meals to the house in support.
His father, Avrum, was Alaska’s attorney general alongside Gov. Jay Hammond. Hammond was a Republican and Av was a Democrat. Av and Jay worked across party lines to help create the Permanent Fund, the Permanent Fund Dividend, and many more programs.
At age 14 Gross bought his first commercial fishing boat with a bank loan and had three boats before he bought his first car. He fished for 10 full summers. Through this he was able to pay his way through college and medical school. He continues to commercial gillnet fish for salmon in the summer.
After graduating from college, he went on to pursue his medical career at the University of Washington’s WWAMI (Alaska affiliated) program. It was during his medical training that he met his future wife Monica. They were married in 1990. They went on to University of Michigan where he did his Orthopedic Surgery training and Monica did her Pediatric training.
After completing their medical training, the two returned to Juneau. Together they raised four children: Eric, Evan, Ariana, and Alexandra.
In 2013 the two left their medical practices and went back to school. They received master’s degrees in public health at UCLA.
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