Bristol Palin, the daughter of Alaskan politician and one-time vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, was born in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Wasilla High School in 2009.
Bristol grew to prominence when, at age 17, her pregnancy was revealed - just as her mother was chosen as the running mate of Republican nominee John McCain. It was also announced that she was engaged with the father of her child, Levi Johnston. The pregnancy became a short-lived talking point during the campaign, which ended unsuccessfully for the older Palin.
Bristol gave birth to her son Tripp on December 27, 2008; a few months later, she broke off her engagement with Johnston. He later filed a custody case in a local court, which ended in Bristol's favor. The two were reengaged in July 2010, but broke off only three weeks later.
Since being thrust into the spotlight, Bristol began working with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, aiming to inform young people about the consequences of teenage pregnancy and the benefits of abstinence. Her advocacy attracted some controversy, both from other advocates and proponents within the Republican party. In between, she has made several television appearances, first on ABC Family's Secret Life of the American Teenager, and later, through a stint on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
- Bristol was named for three things: Bristol Inn, where her mother Sarah was once employed; the town of Bristol in Connecticut, where cable network ESPN is headquartered, since Sarah hoped to work there; and the Alaskan district of Bristol Bay, where her father Todd grew up.
- The Secret Life of the American Teenager (cameo, 2010)
- Dancing with the Stars (competitor, 2010)