Civic leader, political wife Sally Clark Gorton dies


Sally Clark Gorton died at her home in Clyde Hill on Saturday (July 20) from breast cancer. She was with her husband, former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, and family and friends. She was 80.

Mrs. Gorton started out in journalism, working at the Selah Valley Optimist in high school and the Yakima Daily Republic during college. She graduated from the University of Washington with a journalism degree in 1954 and went to work for The Seattle Times in 1955, at one point becoming an assistant women’s editor.

She met Slade Gorton at a gathering held by mutual friends in Leschi. Their courtship included movies on Friday nights, followed by skiing on Sundays.

They were married June 28, 1958. Slade Gorton was elected to the state House of Representatives that same year.

During the 1959 legislative session, the couple shared a rental house down the street from the state Capitol with Joel Pritchard and Dan Evans. Mrs. Gorton was expecting their first child, Tod, at the time. Evans went on to become governor and later served in the U.S. Senate. Pritchard later became lieutenant governor and served in Congress.

Mrs. Gorton left The Seattle Times after the baby was born. Tod was followed by Sarah in 1960 and Rebecca in 1962.