Valerie Plame was born into a military family on April 19, 1963, at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, the daughter of Diane and Samuel Plame. In her government career she would follow in the footsteps of her older brother who had served in the Marines in Vietman, and her father, a lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force who worked for the National Security Agency for three years. Every Fourth of July and Memorial Day, the family would stake an American flag in a flower pot out on the front patio.
Raised in Pennsylvania, she graduated in 1981 from Lower Moreland High School and majored in advertising at Pennsylvania State University. Even then, Valerie Plame stood out. Blonde and statuesque, she was the athletic girl next door. She distinguished herself at the university playing hockey and running track and pledging with the Pi Beta Phi sorority.