Passing: Dennis Egan, former Juneau mayor, senator

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Lifelong Juneau Democrat Dennis Egan has passed. He was a mayor of Juneau, a senator for a decade, and well-loved by the Juneau community on all sides of the political spectrum. He had been ill for many years, which led to him retiring from the Alaska Senate after serving from 2009 to 2019.

Egan was born in Juneau, when Alaska was still a territory, on March 3, 1947. He was the son of Gov. Bill and First Lady Neva Egan. Bill Egan was politically active and become the state’s first and fourth governor.

Dennis Egan lived in Washington, D.C. during the time his father was in the nation’s capital working to get statehood for Alaska. During high school and after broadcast engineer training, he worked at KINY. He graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1965, and graduated from radio operation engineering school in 1967. He served in the Alaska Army National Guard’s 910th Engineer Company between 1967-1974, was an employee of Caterpillar, working on the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. He also worked in state government.

In 1980, Egan started hosting Problem Corner, the well-known Juneau call-in show on KINY, one of the AM radio stations in Juneau. He hosted that show until 2010. He was manager of Alaska-Juneau Communications, Inc., which owns KINY and KSUP and was the Alaska Broadcaster Association’s Broadcaster of the Year in 1990. He was named to the Alaska Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2001.

Egan ran for the Assembly of the City and Borough of Juneau in 1989. He served nearly two terms and was deputy mayor, then was appointed mayor when then-Mayor Byron Mallott resigned to become executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. Egan won reelection as mayor in 1995 and 1997. Egan declined to run for re-election for a third term in 2000.

In 2009, Egan was appointed to the Alaska Senate by Gov. Sarah Palin to replace Sen. Kim Elton, who resigned to join the Obama Administration’s Department of Interior. 

After leaving the Senate in 2019, he moved south for medical care. He was married to Linda Egan and was the father of Jill and Leslie.

Photo credit: Will Fischer, Juneau, through Wikimedia Commons.

6 COMMENTS

  1. When I first moved to Alaska I would listen to Problem Corner. He was so funny and great to listen to but this was just the tip of the iceberg of his accomplishments. They sure don’t make Democrats like this anymore.

  2. A fine man who was the only Democrat I ever voted for. He was honest and you always knew where you stood with him

  3. During sickness i hope it was that time he draw closer to God thru jesus. I don’t see any mention beinga jesus follower, which i am encouraged more when a leader shouts it and plainly see him displayed
    thru goodworks.

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