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Profiles

  • Rep. Joseph Showalter Smith, U.S. Congress (1824 - 1884)
    US Congressman. Pioneer family of 1844. School teacher and lawyer. Elected to the Territorial House of Representatives in 1856 and served as Speaker. Appointed US Attorney for the Washington Territory ...
  • Ahmad Rashād
    Ahmad Rashād[1] (born Robert Earl Moore; November 19, 1949) is an American sportscaster (mostly with NBC Sports) and former professional football player. He was the fourth overall selection of the 1972...
  • Linus Carl Pauling, Nobel Prize (1901 - 1994)
    Linus Carl Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author and educator. He was one of the most influential chemists in history and ranks among...
  • Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator
    Alan "Jeff" Merkley (born October 24, 1956) is the junior United States Senator from Oregon. A member of the Democratic Party, Merkley was a five-term member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly represen...
  • Margaux Louise Hemingway (1955 - 1996)
    Margaux Hemingway career included the first million-dollar contract ever awarded to a fashion model. She also appeared on the covers of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Harper's Bazaar, and appeared on t...

Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Portland, Oregon.

Official Website

Named after Portland, Maine, the Oregon settlement began to be populated in the 1830s, near the end of the Oregon Trail. Its water access provided convenient transportation of goods, and the timber industry was a major force in the city's early economy. At the turn of the 20th century, the city had a reputation as one of the most dangerous port cities in the world, a hub for organized crime and racketeering. After the city's economy experienced an industrial boom during World War II, its hard-edged reputation began to dissipate. Beginning in the 1960s, Portland became noted for its growing progressive political values, earning it a reputation as a bastion of counter-culture.

The city operates with a commission-based government, guided by a mayor and four commissioners, as well as Metro, the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization in the United States. Its climate is marked by warm, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. This climate is ideal for growing roses, and Portland has been called the "City of Roses" for over a century.

For a complete history, please see Wikipedia.

List of Neighborhoods

Arts & Culture

Portland is home to a range of classical performing arts institutions, including the Portland Opera, the Oregon Symphony, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic; the latter, established in 1924, was the first youth orchestra established in the United States. The city is also home to several theaters and performing arts institutions, including the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Northwest Children's Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, Miracle Theatre, and Tears of Joy Theatre.

In 2013, the Guardian named the city's music scene as one of the "most vibrant" in the United States. Portland is home to famous bands such as the Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders, both famous for their association with the song "Louie Louie" (1963). Other widely known musical groups include the Dandy Warhols, Quarterflash, Everclear, Pink Martini, Sleater-Kinney, Blitzen Trapper, the Decemberists, and the late Elliott Smith. More recently, Portugal. the Man, Modest Mouse, and the Shins have made their home in Portland as well. In the 1980s, the city was home to a burgeoning punk scene, which included bands such as the Wipers and Dead Moon. The city's now-demolished Satyricon nightclub was a punk venue notorious for being the place where Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain first encountered future wife and Hole frontwoman Courtney Love in 1990. Love was then a resident of Portland and started several bands there with Kat Bjelland, later of Babes in Toyland. Multi-Grammy award-winning jazz artist Esperanza Spalding is from Portland and performed with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at a young age.

A wide range of films have been shot in Portland, from various independent features to major big-budget productions. Director Gus Van Sant has notably set and shot many of his films in the city. The city has also been featured in various television programs, notably the IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia. The series, which ran for eight seasons from 2011 to 2018, was shot on location in Portland, and satirized the city as a hub of liberal politics, organic food, alternative lifestyles, and anti-establishment attitudes. MTV's long-time running reality show The Real World was also shot in Portland for the show's 29th season: The Real World: Portland premiered on MTV in 2013. Other television series shot in the city include Leverage, The Librarians, Under Suspicion, Grimm, and Nowhere Man.

An unusual feature of Portland entertainment is the large number of movie theaters serving beer, often with second-run or revival films. Notable examples of these "brew and view" theaters include the Bagdad Theater and Pub, a former vaudeville theater built in 1927 by Universal Studios; Cinema 21; and the Laurelhurst Theater, in operation since 1923. Portland hosts the world's longest-running H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival at the Hollywood Theatre.

Museums & Recreation

Portland is home to numerous museums and educational institutions, ranging from art museums to institutions devoted to science and wildlife. Among the science-oriented institutions are the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), which consists of five main halls and other ticketed attractions, such as the USS Blueback submarine, the ultra-large-screen Empirical Theater (which replaced an OMNIMAX theater in 2013), and the Kendall Planetarium. The World Forestry Center Discovery Museum, located in the city's Washington Park area, offers educational exhibits on forests and forest-related subjects. Also located in Washington Park are the Hoyt Arboretum, the International Rose Test Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Oregon Zoo.

The Portland Art Museum owns the city's largest art collection and presents a variety of touring exhibitions each year and, with the recent addition of the Modern and Contemporary Art wing, it became one of the United States' 25 largest museums. Other museums include the Portland Children's Museum, a museum specifically geared for early childhood development; and the Oregon Historical Society Museum, founded in 1898, which has a variety of books, film, pictures, artifacts, and maps dating back throughout Oregon's history. It houses permanent and temporary exhibits about Oregon history, and hosts traveling exhibits about the history of the United States.

Oaks Amusement Park, in the Sellwood district of Southeast Portland, is the city's only amusement park and is also one of the country's longest-running amusement parks. It has operated since 1905 and was known as the "Coney Island of the Northwest" upon its opening.

Cuisine & Breweries

Portland has been named the best city in the world for street food by several publications and news outlets, including the U.S. News & World Report and CNN. Food carts are extremely popular within the city, with over 600 licensed carts, making Portland one of the most robust street food scenes in North America. In 2014, the Washington Post called Portland the fourth best city for food in the United States. Portland is also known as a leader in specialty coffee. The city is home to Stumptown Coffee Roasters as well as dozens of other micro-roasteries and cafes.

It is frequently claimed that Portland has the most breweries and independent microbreweries of any city in the world, with 58 active breweries within city limits and 70+ within the surrounding metro area. However, data compiled by the Brewers Association ranks Portland seventh in the United States as of 2018. The McMenamin brothers have over thirty brewpubs, distilleries, and wineries scattered throughout the metropolitan area, several in renovated cinemas and other historically significant buildings otherwise destined for demolition. Other notable Portland brewers include Widmer Brothers, BridgePort, Portland Brewing, Hair of the Dog, and Hopworks Urban Brewery.

Portland hosts a number of festivals throughout the year that celebrate beer and brewing, including the Oregon Brewers Festival, held in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Held each summer during the last full weekend of July, it is the largest outdoor craft beer festival in North America, with over 70,000 attendees in 2008. Other major beer festivals throughout the calendar year include the Spring Beer and Wine Festival in April, the North American Organic Brewers Festival in June, the Portland International Beerfest in July, and the Holiday Ale Festival in December.

Sustainability

Popular Science awarded Portland the title of the Greenest City in America in 2008, and Grist magazine listed it in 2007 as the second greenest city in the world. Ten years later, WalletHub rated the city as the 10th greenest. The city became a pioneer of state-directed metropolitan planning, a program which was instituted statewide in 1969 to compact the urban growth boundaries of the city. Portland was the first city to enact a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Free Speech

Strong free speech protections of the Oregon Constitution upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court in State v. Henry, specifically found that full nudity and lap dances in strip clubs are protected speech. Portland has the highest number of strip clubs per-capita in a city in the United States, and Oregon ranks as the highest state for per-capita strip clubs.

In November 2008, a Multnomah County judge dismissed charges against a nude bicyclist arrested on June 26, 2008. The judge stated that the city's annual World Naked Bike Ride – held each year in June since 2004 – has created a "well-established tradition" in Portland where cyclists may ride naked as a form of protest against cars and fossil fuel dependence. The defendant was not riding in the official World Naked Bike Ride at the time of his arrest as it had occurred 12 days earlier that year, on June 14.

From November 10 to 12, 2016, protests in Portland turned into a riot, when a group of anarchists broke off from a larger group of peaceful protesters who were opposed to the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.

Sports

Portland is home to three major league sports franchises: the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA, the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer, and the Portland Thorns FC of the National Women's Soccer League. In 2015, the Timbers won the MLS Cup, which was the first male professional sports championship for a team from Portland since the Trail Blazers won the NBA championship in 1977. Despite being the 19th most populated metro area in the United States, Portland contains only one franchise from the NFL, NBA, NHL, or MLB, making it United States second most populated metro area with that distinction, behind San Antonio. The city has been often rumored to receive an additional franchise, although efforts to acquire a team have failed due to stadium funding issues. An organization known as the Portland Diamond Project (PDP) has worked with the MLB and local government, and there are plans to have an MLB stadium constructed in the industrial district of Portland. The PDP has not yet received the funding for this project.

Portland sports fans are characterized by their passionate support. The Trail Blazers sold out every home game between 1977 and 1995, a span of 814 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in American sports history. The Timbers joined MLS in 2011 and have sold out every home match since joining the league, a streak that has now reached 70+ matches. The Timbers season ticket waiting list has reached 10,000+, the longest waiting list in MLS. In 2015, they became the first team in the Northwest to win the MLS Cup. Player Diego Valeri marked a new record for fastest goal in MLS Cup history at 27 seconds into the game.

The annual Cambia Portland Classic women's golf tournament in September, now in its 50th year, is the longest-running non-major tournament on the LPGA Tour, plays in the southern suburb of West Linn.

Two rival universities exist within Portland city limits: the University of Portland Pilots and the Portland State University Vikings, both of whom field teams in popular spectator sports including soccer, baseball, and basketball. Portland State also has a football team. Additionally, the University of Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State University Beavers both receive substantial attention and support from many Portland residents, despite their campuses being 110 and 84 miles from the city, respectively.

Running is a popular activity in Portland, and every year the city hosts the Portland Marathon as well as parts of the Hood to Coast Relay, the world's largest long-distance relay race (by number of participants). Portland served as the center to an elite running group, the Nike Oregon Project until its 2019 disbandment following coach Alberto Salazar's ban due to doping violations and is the residence of elite runners including American record holder at 10,000m Galen Rupp.

Portland also hosts numerous cycling events and has become an elite bicycle racing destination. The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association supports hundreds of official bicycling events every year. Weekly events at Alpenrose Velodrome and Portland International Raceway allow for racing nearly every night of the week from March through September. Cyclocross races, such as the Cross Crusade, can attract over 1,000 riders and spectators.

On December 4, 2019, the Vancouver Riptide of the American Ultimate Disc League announced that they ceased team operations in Vancouver in 2017 and are moving down to Portland Oregon for the 2020 AUDL season.

Parks & Recreation

Forest Park is the largest wilderness park in the United States that is within city limits

Parks and greenspace planning date back to John Charles Olmsted's 1903 Report to the Portland Park Board. In 1995, voters in the Portland metropolitan region passed a regional bond measure to acquire valuable natural areas for fish, wildlife, and people. Ten years later, more than 8,100 acres of ecologically valuable natural areas had been purchased and permanently protected from development.

Portland is one of only four cities in the U.S. with extinct volcanoes within its boundaries (along with Pilot Butte in Bend, Oregon, Jackson Volcano in Jackson, Mississippi, and Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii). Mount Tabor Park is known for its scenic views and historic reservoirs.

Forest Park is the largest wilderness park within city limits in the United States, covering more than 5,000 acres. Portland is also home to Mill Ends Park, the world's smallest park. Washington Park is just west of downtown and is home to the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, the Portland Japanese Garden, and the International Rose Test Garden. Portland is also home to Lan Su Chinese Garden (formerly the Portland Classical Chinese Garden), an authentic representation of a Suzhou-style walled garden. Portland's east side has several formal public gardens: the historic Peninsula Park Rose Garden, the rose gardens of Ladd's Addition, the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, the Leach Botanical Garden, and The Grotto.

Portland's downtown features two groups of contiguous city blocks dedicated for park space: the North and South Park Blocks. The 37-acre Tom McCall Waterfront Park was built in 1974 along the length of the downtown waterfront after Harbor Drive was removed; it now hosts large events throughout the year. The nearby historically significant Burnside Skatepark and five indoor skateparks give Portland a reputation as possibly "the most skateboard-friendly town in America."

Tryon Creek State Natural Area is one of three Oregon State Parks in Portland and the most popular; its creek has a run of steelhead. The other two State Parks are Willamette Stone State Heritage Site, in the West Hills, and the Government Island State Recreation Area in the Columbia River near Portland International Airport.

Portland's city park system has been proclaimed one of the best in America. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, the Trust for Public Land reported Portland had the seventh-best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities. In February 2015, the City Council approved a total ban on smoking in all city parks and natural areas and the ban has been in force since July 1, 2015. The ban includes cigarettes, vaping, as well as marijuana.

Wikipedia