Walter Joseph Hickel

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Walter Joseph "Wally" Hickel (August 18, 1919 – May 7, 2010) was an American politician who was elected Governor of Alaska in 1966, but resigned in 1969 to serve as Secretary of the Interior under President Richard Nixon. He was elected to a second term as Governor in 1990. Hickel was a Republican, and a strong environmentalist. As Governor, he did not advocate offshore oil drilling.

As Interior Secretary he wrote President Nixon a letter criticizing his Vietnam War policy and his handling of the Kent State protests that ended in tragedy. Nixon fired Hickel over the letter.[1]

Back home in Anchorage, Alaska, he continued his development and investment businesses from an office in the Hotel Captain Cook, Alaska's finest, which he built after the 1964 earthquake.[2]

Hickel died in Anchorage and was buried standing up. He had said, "I want to be buried standing up, so when I get to heaven I can come out fighting.”[3]