Paull Shin

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Paull H. Shin
US Navy 040504-N-6477M-061 Senator Paull Shin (WA-D), a sponsor for legislation that enacted observance of Asian Pacific Heritage Month in the United States, attends a uniform inspection.jpg
Senator Paull Shin (WA-D), a sponsor for legislation that enacted observance of Asian Pacific Heritage Month in the United States, attends a uniform inspection in 2004
Washington State Senator
from the 21st Legislative District
In office
January 11, 1999 (1999-01-11) – January 7, 2014 (2014-01-07)
Preceded byJeannette Wood
Succeeded byMarko Liias
Washington State Representative from the 21st Legislative District, Position 2
In office
January 11, 1993 (1993-01-11) – January 9, 1995 (1995-01-09)
Preceded byJohn Beck
Succeeded byRenee Radcliff
Personal details
Shin Hobom

(1935-09-27) September 27, 1935 (age 85)
Paju, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Donna June Skaggs
ResidenceMukilteo, Washington
Alma materBrigham Young University (B.A.)
University of Pittsburgh (M.A.)
University of Washington (Ph.D.)

Paull Shin (Shin Hobom, Korean: 신호범; born September 27, 1935) is a former member of the Washington State Senate, the first Korean American ever elected to the Washington State Legislature.[1] Shin is a member of the Democratic Party, elected from the 21st Legislative District, in southwest Snohomish County. Cities within the district include Mukilteo and portions of Everett, Edmonds, and Lynnwood. Senator Shin currently served on the Senate Agriculture, Water & Rural Economic Development and Trade & Economic Development Committees.

Shin was born in Korea in 1935. Orphaned at the age of four, he lived on the streets of Seoul begging for food until the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, at which point he became a houseboy to a group of U.S. Army officers. In 1954, one of them, a dentist named Ray Paull, adopted Shin and took him home to Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite never having been educated in Korea, and knowing little English, Shin completed a GED in 18 months. Shin went on to earn a BA in political science from Brigham Young University, an MPIA from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MA and PhD from the University of Washington.

After being elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1992, Shin ran for the United States House of Representatives in Washington's 2nd district in 1994 and for Washington lieutenant governor in 1996, losing by a thin margin in each race. He was elected to the Washington State Senate in 1998.

On January 7, 2014, Shin resigned from the Washington State Senate effective immediately following his diagnosis with Alzheimer's disease.[2]

He and his wife Donna have two children and five grandsons.


  1. ^ Nakanishi, Don T.; Wu, Ellen D. (2002-01-01). Distinguished Asian American Political and Governmental Leaders. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9781573563253. Shin, Paull 1935.
  2. ^ State Sen. Paull Shin resigns, citing Alzheimer’s

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