While most drivers considered 30 miles (48 km) a long run, Seppala travelled between 50 miles (80 km) and 100 miles (160 km) most days. Seppala's only child—an eight-year-old daughter named Sigrid—was also at risk. However, in 1900, he emigrated to Alaska during the Nome gold rush. The famous serum run he took part in is commemorated yearly in Alaska with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, formerly the Iditarod Trail Seppala Memorial Race. :64, Seppala was born in the Lyngen, Troms og Finnmark, Northern Norway. However, at 3 P.M. that day, Seppala and his team arrived at Golovin and handed over the serum to the next musher. Neither he nor his canine freight leader, Suggen, knew the dangerous trail, and when a blizzard suddenly descended on the area during the race, Seppala realized his young dogs had lost the trail and they were all at great risk of death due to the nearby drop-off to the Bering Sea. :70–71, Seppala's racing career took off the following year, at the 1915 All Alaska Sweepstakes. Managed by: Marianne I … Leonhard Seppala’s mother’s name is unknown at this time and his father’s name is under review. , The next day, the gale had intensified into a severe blizzard, with blinding snow and winds of at least 65 mph (105 km/h). In 1961, Seppala revisited Fairbanks and other places in Alaska at the invitation of American journalist Lowell Thomas, enjoying a warm reception from the Alaskan people. Please check back soon for updates. A diphtheria outbreak struck Seppala's town of Nome, Alaska in the winter of 1925. Leonhard Seppala was born in 1870s. Main article: 1925 serum run to Nome. Previously unexposed children as well as adults were at risk of dying from the infection. Together, they embark on an exhilarating and uplifting adventure across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra to help transport an antitoxin serum to a small town, and it is a journey that will test his strength, courage and determination. Leonhard Seppala lived there with his family, and his eight-year-old daughter Sigrid was now in mortal danger because the vaccine available in town had expired and probably wouldn’t be enough in any case. Even though he covered more distance (260 miles) than his co-sledder Balto (55 miles), he didn't get as much fame. In June 1999, a memorial was erected to him in Skibotn. Seppala had to decide whether to risk Norton Sound in high winds in the dark, when he could not see or hear potential warning signs from the ice. It can cause breathing problems, heart problems, paralysis, and even death. Previously unexposed children as well as adults were at risk of dying from the infection. Togo (1913 – December 5, 1929) was the lead sled dog of Leonhard Seppala and his dog sled team in the 1925 serum run to Nome across central and northern Alaska. View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro .  He was the eldest child of Isak Isaksen Seppälä (born in Sweden of Finnish descent) and Anne Henrikke Henriksdatter. It ranged from rough hills of smashed-together ice to slippery "glare ice" polished by the wind, where it was difficult for the dogs to get a foothold. Seppala had immigrated to Alaska from Norway when his friend Jafet Lindeberg convinced him to come work for the mining company he started in Nome. Togo is the deuteragonist and title character in the 2019 film Togo. Diphtheria is a bacterial infection of the nose and throat. Today, most Americans are vaccinated against diphtheria as children. Togo retired in Poland Spring, Maine. Leonhard Seppala was born in the Year of the Ox. By Robert Forto, PhD. In 1946, he and his wife Constance moved to Seattle, Washington. Zodiac Sign: Leonhard Seppala was a Virgo. Seppala initially followed in his father's footsteps as both a blacksmith and a fisherman. His tour ended in January 1927 with the dogsled race at Poland Spring, Maine, where he accepted the challenge to race against Arthur Walden, founder of the New England Sled Dog Club and owner of the famous lead dog, "Chinook". A sustained east wind could also push the ice out to sea, and a team caught on a drifting floe could find itself stranded on open water. Leonard "Sepp" Seppala /ˈlɛnərd ˈsɛpələ/ (September 14, 1877 – January 28, 1967) was a Norwegian sled dog breeder, trainer and musher who played a pivotal role in the 1925 serum run to Nome and participated in the 1932 Winter Olympics. First Name Leonhard #3. Seppala is considered the founder of the Siberian… A 1995 animated movie named Balto perpetuated the heroic tale about the relay (and about the wrong dog and driver). A matter of life and death. The initials "G.I." , With Norton Sound behind them, Seppala and his team now faced the final challenge of the trail—climbing an 8 miles (13 km) ridge formation that led to the summit of Little McKinley. 30+ Thanksgiving Movies for Kids That the Whole Family Will Enjoy on Turkey Day.  When Seppala was two years old, his family moved within Troms county to nearby Skjervøy municipality on the island of Skjervøya. He inherited his first sled dogs through a friend, who originally intended them for the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, before his expedition was cancelled. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us.  In 2019, Disney released a movie based on Seppala's feats in the 1925 serum run to Nome, titled Togo and starring Willem Dafoe as Seppala. While in Skjervøy, his father worked as a blacksmith and fisherman, building up a relatively large estate. This page is updated often with fresh details about Leonhard Seppala. He expressed pleasure in the rhythmic patter of the dogs' feet and the feeling of the sled gliding along the snow. The initials "G.I." Despite a series of time-consuming mishaps on the trail, Seppala won the race against the bigger, slower dogs driven by Walden and his followers. If the wind blew from the east, it could reach speeds as high as 70 mph (110 km/h), flipping over sleds, pushing dogs off course, and causing a windchill as low as −100 °F (−73 °C). Generation also known as The Greatest Generation. We will continue to update information on Leonhard Seppala’s parents. Their owner, Norwegian-born Leonhard Seppala, came to Nome during the height of its gold rush on June 14, 1900. Seppala was assigned to train the dogs. The serum was now only 78 miles (126 km) from Nome. The only practical way to deliver more serum to Nome in the middle of the coldest winter in 20 years was by dog sled. His father was both a blacksmith and a fisherman. Leonhard Seppala was born in Norway. He nursed them back to health for most of the remainder of that year; they were not ready to train again until autumn. Learn about Leonhard Seppala: his birthday, what he did before fame, his family life, fun trivia facts, popularity rankings, and more. No dog driver has the status, the renown and the respect of his colleagues as does Leonhard Seppala. Seppala would cross the sound each way in the race to deliver the serum. The serum! Lindeberg, his friend and supervisor at Pioneer Mining Company, had brought the puppies from Siberia as a gift for the explorer Roald Amundsen, whom he hoped would use them for his upcoming expedition to the North Pole. In 1928, Seppala moved his permanent home to near Fairbanks, Alaska. Leonhard Seppala is part of G.I. In 1931 the Seppala–Ricker partnership ended. This was the start of the spread of the Siberian Husky breed in the United States and Canada. The whole trail was 674 miles from Nenana to Nome, and Seppala was initially selected to cover the more than 400 miles from Nome to Nulato and back. Leonhard Seppala is part of G.I. He achieved fame when he led a team of sled dogs on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome, in which diphtheria antitoxin was transported from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nenana, Alaska, by train and then to Nome by dog sled to combat an outbreak of the disease. A relay of respected mushers was organized to expedite the delivery, and Seppala (with lead dog Togo) was chosen for the most forbidding part of the trail. It was decided that he was the most qualified of the relay mushers to attempt this shortcut. The only treatment available in 1925 was diphtheria antitoxin serum. Born in 1877 #18. , A diphtheria outbreak struck Seppala's town of Nome, Alaska in the winter of 1925. Who’s the richest Dog Musher in the world. His friend Jafet Lindeberg had returned from Alaska and convinced Seppala to come to work for his mining company in Nome. In January 1925 the deadly disease diphtheria had broken out in the coastal town of Nome, by the Pacific Ocean.  He became a naturalized citizen prior to 1917. They have a strong faith and can be seen as stubborn in their old ways. About. It was unusual at that time to keep sled dogs working when the snow thawed, or to spend as much time with them as he did. Indeed, when the whiteout conditions suddenly lifted, Seppala found that he and his team were at the bottom of a hill, racing towards the cliffs along the sea. Meanwhile, the number of diphtheria cases in Nome continued to climb. Leonhard’s education details are not available at this time. The Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, which honors excellence in sled dog care, is named in honour of him. From Disney+, “Togo” is the untold true story set in the winter of 1925 that takes you across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra for an exhilarating and uplifting adventure that will test the strength, courage and determination of one man, Leonhard Seppala, and his lead sled dog, Togo. The ice on Norton Sound was in constant motion due to currents from the sea and the incessant wind. Togo is based on the real dog of the same name. Togo passed on December 5, 1929 at 16 years of age. Conditions on the ice were perilous, with sudden soft spots in the ice underfoot and outright open water sometimes only a few feet away. is military terminology referring to "Government Issue" or "General Issue". :72–75 He went on to win the race the following two years, as well, at which point the All Alaska Sweepstakes was suspended until 1983. In 1913, Seppala inherited his first team of sled dogs by chance. Dog Musher #8. found: LeonhardSeppala web page viewed 4/10/13: Leonhard Seppala (1877-1967) Seppala eventually became arguably the most famous dog driver of all time. Togo was one of the offspring of Seppala's former lead dog, "Suggen". Leonhard Seppala (1877–1967) Alternative names: Leonhard Seppälä: Description: Norwegian-American explorer, musher, gold mining in Alaska, blacksmith and fisher: Date of birth/death: 14 September 1877 28 January 1967 Location of birth/death: Skibotn: Seattle: Authority control: His wife, Constance, died a few years later aged 85. The Seppala House was a gift to Urtha Lenharr by Krier Enterprise of Nome, Alaska. However, many of his dogs' paw pads had been shredded and claws broken by the ice-encrusted snow as they clawed their way back to the top of the hill. Most Popular #122717. The Seppala Kennels partnership of Leonhard Seppala and Elizabeth Ricker began shortly after the Poland Spring dog sled race of 1927 and lasted until Ricker married Kaare Nansen in 1931 and left for Norway. Above: Leonhard Seppala with Togo, after the serum run. In Astrology, Mercury is the planet that rules our mindset. Both are buried in Nome, Alaska. The film’s hero Leonhard Seppala, played by Willem Dafoe, required four separate parkas alone, which would eventually be made of faux moosehide, faux beaver, faux seal and faux squirrel. , Norwegian-American sled dog breeder, trainer, and musher, Leonhard Seppala after the 1925 serum run, "Alaska Airlines To Serve As Iditarod's Official Airline Sponsor", Photo: Winners of the Eighth All Alaska Sweepstakes from Alaska's Digital Archives, "2008 All Alaska Sweepstakes Media Guide", "The Siberian Husky: A Brief History of the Breed in America", "Alaska Airlines continues long-standing support of Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race", Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Leonhard_Seppala&oldid=997263814, Sled dog racers at the 1932 Winter Olympics, Olympic sled dog racers of the United States, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 December 2020, at 18:56. 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