Inhabited by the Aleut for centuries, the islands, along with the rest of the Aleutians, were first visited by Europeans in 1741, when a Danish navigator employed by the Russian navy, Vitus Bering, who was searching for new sources of fur for Russian fur trappers.
The larger Fox Islands are, from west to east, Umnak, Unalaska, Amaknak, Akutan, Akun, Unimak and Sanak. Islands lying west of Akutan are in the Aleutians West Census Area. From Akutan eastward they are in the Aleutians East Borough.
Fox Islands is the English translation of the name given to the islands in the 18th century by Russian explorers and fur traders.
The Fox Islands were the setting for the game Metal Gear Solid, on the fictional Shadow Moses Island.