Here are the previous Sunday Gazette-Mail West Virginians of the Year:

1951 — OKEY L. PATTESON, 23rd governor, chief creator of the West Virginia Turnpike.

1952 — WALTER S. HALLANAN, former Huntington Herald-Dispatch editor, state official, oilman, chairman of 1952 Republican National Convention.

1953 — ADM. FELIX B. STUMP, from Parkersburg, commander of Navy's Pacific Fleet.

1954 — GEN. CHARLES E. YEAGER, from Lincoln County, World War II air hero and test pilot, first to break the sound barrier.

1955 — LEONARD RIGGLEMAN, longtime president of Morris Harvey College (now University of Charleston), moved the school from Barboursville.

1956 — JOHN D. HOBLITZELL JR., of Parkersburg, education leader, appointed U.S. senator.

1957 — MICHAEL L. BENEDUM, "the Great Wildcatter," Bridgeport native, oil millionaire, philanthropist.

1958 — WILLIAM J. THOMPSON, Kanawha circuit judge, advocate of probation.

1959 — JERRY WEST, SAM HUFF, West Virginia basketball and football heroes.

1960 — FRED OTTO, Kanawha Valley civic leader, manager who helped save the DuPont Belle plant from phase-out.

1961 — CHARLES HODEL, orphan who lost a leg, became dynamic publisher of Beckley newspapers.

1962 — PEARL BUCK, Nobel Prize-winning author, born in Pocahontas County.

1963 — CYRUS VANCE, veteran U.S. diplomat, later secretary of state.

1964 — SEN. JENNINGS RANDOLPH, member of Congress since the 1930s, chief author of Appalachian Regional Commission. 1966 — WALTER F. REUTHER, United Auto Workers president, born in Wheeling.

1967 — REV. HILARION CANN, BISHOP FRED HOLLOWAY, RABBI SAMUEL COOPER and BISHOP WILBURN CAMPBELL, four state leaders in church efforts for civil rights.

1968 — PHYLLIS CURTIN, from Clarksburg, GEORGE CRUMB JR. from Charleston, opera soprano and composer.

1969 — DR. DANIEL HALE, Princeton physician and conservationist, created flood-control dam and safe water supply.

1970 — WILLIAM T. BROTHERTON JR., of Charleston, state Senate president, creator of the Legislature's corruption-probing commission.

1971 — DR. JOHN C. NORMAN, Charleston-born surgeon and medical researcher.

1972 — ARCH A. MOORE JR., 28th governor, dynamic in his first term.

1973 — ARNOLD MILLER, Cabin Creek disabled miner, elected president of the UMW after crusading against union corruption.

1974 — SEN. ROBERT C. BYRD, who rose from Raleigh County poverty to leadership in Congress.

1975 — DR. JAMES HARLOW, physicist, 16th president of WVU.

1976 — JAMES DAVID BARBER, Charleston native, Duke University political scientist, author of books on presidency.

1977 — SEN. ROBERT C. BYRD, chosen again after he attained national power as Senate majority leader.

1978 — MARY LEE SETTLE, from Charleston, renowned novelist.

1979 — MAURICE G. BROOKS, WVU biologist, author of four books on mountain wildlife.

1980 — CHARLES PETERS JR., from Charleston, former legislator, publisher of The Washington Monthly.

1981 — SHARON ROCKEFELLER, public broadcasting advocate, wife of Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

1982 — ARTHUR RECHT, Wheeling circuit judge who mandated equality between rich and poor county school systems.

1983 — JAMES "BUCK" HARLESS, Mingo County lumber and coal mogul, philanthropist.

1984 — MARY LOU RETTON, from Fairmont, Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics.

1985 — LOUISE McNEIL PEASE, from Pocahontas County, state poet laureate.

1986 — DALE NITZSCHKE, president of Marshall University, leader in innovative educational concepts.

1987 — ROBERTA EMERSON, curator who expanded Huntington Museum of Art.

1988 — DON NEHLEN, football coach who led WVU to an 11-0 season.

1989 — MICHAEL CAREY, U.S. attorney who cleaned up corruption in Mingo County and state government.

1990 — SEN. ROBERT C. BYRD, chosen a third time for bringing billions of dollars' worth of federal projects to West Virginia.

1991 — SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER, legislator, secretary of state, governor and U.S. senator.

1992 — LYELL CLAY, HAZEL RUBY McQUAIN, CHARLIE ERICKSON, JOAN EDWARDS and other philanthropists — "The Givers" who support West Virginia projects.

1993 — The entire WVU FOOTBALL TEAM, for another undefeated season.

1994 — HENRY LOUIS "SKIP" GATES, Mineral County native who became Harvard's top black scholar, won a MacArthur "genius award" and wrote a book about his boyhood in West Virginia.

1995 — ROBERT C. FRASURE, from Morgantown, a deputy assistant secretary of state killed while trying to negotiate peace in Bosnia's civil war.

1996 — GASTON CAPERTON, upon completing two terms as a successful, progressive governor, whose tenure brought economic growth and few scandals.

1997 — ELIZABETH HALLANAN, one of America's few female federal judges, who reformed child support and voided a state plan for government-sponsored religion in schools.

1998 — ADMIRAL JOSEPH LOPEZ, a Fayette County native who rose through the ranks to command U.S. forces in Bosnia and the Mediterranean.

1999 — BOB PRUETT, Marshall University football coach who selflessly turned down big-money offers — and his CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM.

2000 — JOHN CHAMBERS JR., president of the Internet giant, Cisco Systems, which enables computers to communicate, thus spurring the Information Age.

2001 — The WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD, for a year of duty against floods, forest fires and terrorism.

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