Most Influential

Movers & Shakers

Profiling the people who shaped Seattle

By Rob Smith March 8, 2024

Seattle magazine cover, April 1968

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2024 issue of Seattle magazine.

This is Seattle magazine’s Most Influential issue, showcasing those in our community who work tirelessly to make our city a better place. Back in April 1968, Seattle magazine ran a similar feature on those who “really call the shots.”

“It takes money plus position and gregariousness to play ‘King of the Castle,’ a headline read. “If you’re not on the list, you’re a dirty rascal.”

Many of those names shaped the Seattle of today, including hotel magnate Eddie Carlson, who championed the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962 and helped come up with the idea for the Space Needle. Others included attorney James Ellis, who headed Forward Thrust, the advocacy organization that pushed the Kingdome and Seattle Aquarium; Virginia Wright, a Seattle arts patron and an investor in the Space Needle; and John Fluke, founder of Everett-based Fluke Corp., a manufacturer of electronic test equipment that still exists today.

The magazine boasted that the list was the first of its kind. It’s an enjoyable read that serves as a blueprint to where we are today.

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