The son of a professional Santa Claus, Rich Welliver somewhat reluctantly inherited the suit in 2005 with the death of his father. That same year, Rich took a motorcycle trip to Alaska and decided to move here when he retired.
The Santa Clause role started as a few appearances for friends, but soon was much more in demand. Rich now lives in North Pole, where he frequently appears at the Santa Claus House. Today he feels the Santa persona provides the most rewarding experiences of his life.
Rich was born in Pennsylvania, lived in many states and England because of his father’s Army career, and joined the military himself after graduating from high school. After 8 years in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service, Rich worked in Washington, DC, for the U.S. Department of Defense for 34 years, retiring in 2009.