AUGUST 8, 1933


Born near Koyukuk, Alaska, George began mushing in the 1950s and quickly became a legendary open-class sprint dog racer. Revered internationally, the movie and song Spirit of the Wind were based on his life. Attla’s book, Everything I Know About Training and Racing Sled Dogs is the musher’s guide.  Known as the “Huslia Hustler,” George won 10 Fur Rendezvous World Championship Dog Races, 8 North American World Championships, and 9 International Sled Dog Racing Association unlimited class medals. In 2011, he won the Bergman Sam Memorial Koyukuk River Championship. In his honor, Alaska proclaimed April 29, 1988, “George Attla Day.” In 2000, Attla was named Best Musher of the 20th Century and, in 2007, inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. To pass on his knowledge of the sport, he also established the Frank Attla Youth & Sled Dog Care-Mushing Program in memory of his late son.  Attla died February 15, 2015, in Anchorage.

Source:  “George Attla Jr., 1933-2015, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner,, 2/17/2015.  Retrieved 6/8/2019,
Photo:  Courtesy of Alaska State Library Keller Family Photograph Collection, P303-046.

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