Col. Norman Vaughan, dies at age 100

LEGACY: From Byrd expedition to 13 Iditarod starts, he dreamed big and inspired others.

Published: December 24, 2005

Last Modified: December 24, 2005 at 01:30 AM

Refusing to “grow old” to the very end,
irrepressible dog musher and world adventurer Col. Norman Vaughan died
in an Anchorage hospital Friday amid family and friends — just four
days past his 100th birthday.

Vaughan’s life as a sportsman, soldier and
entrepreneur spanned the 20th century, but it was his buoyant example
of how an active outdoor life doesn’t have to end at age 70, or 80, or
even 90 that inspired legions of admirers.

At 84, Vaughan was still entering and
completing the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage
to Nome as the self-proclaimed “oldest and slowest” musher in the world.

At 89, he climbed a 10,320-foot Antarctic
peak that Adm. Richard Byrd named in his honor 65 years earlier during
their historic 1928-1930 South Pole expedition. He was assisted on the
climb by his wife, Carolyn Muegge-Vaughan, and Alaska mountain guide
Vern Tejas.

“I know how to dream big dreams,” Tejas said later, “but Norman dreams impossible dreams. That’s what I want to learn from him.”