Bob Graham: Wikis


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Daniel Robert Graham

In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Paula Hawkins
Succeeded by Mel Martinez

In office
January 2, 1979 – January 3, 1987
Lieutenant Wayne Mixson
Preceded by Reubin Askew
Succeeded by Wayne Mixson

In office
January 3 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Richard Shelby
Succeeded by Richard Shelby
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Richard Shelby
Succeeded by Pat Roberts

Born November 9, 1936 (1936-11-09) (age 73)
Coral Gables, Florida
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Adele Khoury Graham
Children Gwen Graham Logan
Cissy Graham McCullough
Suzanne Graham Gibson
Kendall Graham Elias
Alma mater University of Florida
Harvard Law School
Religion United Church of Christ

Daniel Robert "Bob" Graham (born November 9, 1936) is an American politician. He was the 38th Governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States Senator from that state from 1987 to 2005. Following a failed bid for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2004 presidential race, Graham was considered a possible running mate for John Kerry.

Graham dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on October 6, 2003 and announced his retirement from the Senate on November 3, 2003.

Graham is now concentrating his efforts on the newly established Bob Graham Center for Public Service [1] at his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Florida. He also serves as Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism and advocates for the recommendations in the Commission report, World at Risk.


Personal background

Graham was born in Miami-Dade County, Florida. He married Adele Khoury Graham, of Miami Shores, in 1959. They have four daughters: Gwen Graham, Cissy Graham McCullough, Suzanne Graham Gibson and Kendall Graham Elias. The Grahams also have 11 grandchildren.

Graham is the son of Ernest "Cap" Graham, a Florida state senator, mining engineer and dairy/cattleman, and Hilda Simmons Graham, a schoolteacher. He is the youngest of four children. His siblings are the late Philip Graham, former publisher of the Washington Post; the late William Graham of Miami Lakes, Florida; and the late Mary Crow.

Bob Graham attended Miami Senior High School from 1951 to 1955, he was Student Body President his senior year. He was also president of Key Club, the Kiwanis service organization. While at Miami High Graham was the recipient of the Sigma Chi Award, the school's highest honor. He received a bachelor's degree in 1959 in political science from the University of Florida, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. While at UF he was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame (the most prestigious honor at UF) and was inducted into Florida Blue Key. He went on to receive an LLB from Harvard Law School in 1962. His eldest brother, Philip (1915–1963), was also a Harvard Law alum.

Political career

Graham is a Democrat who never lost an election prior to his bid for the 2004 Presidential nomination. He was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1966 and reelected in 1968. He was elected to the Florida State Senate in 1970 and was reelected in 1974.



Bob Graham's campaign trademark was to work a full, eight-hour day at various jobs which represented Florida's constituents. He began his Workdays in 1974, teaching a semester of civics at Miami Carol City Senior High School in Miami while serving in the Florida Senate. At that time, Bob Graham was on the Education Committee. After a speech, M. Sue Riley, an English teacher at Carol City, approached Bob Graham and said, "The only problem with members of the Education Committee is nobody has any experience in education." Bob Graham was taken aback at that assertion and asked, "Well, what can I do about that?" A few months later, Ms. Riley contacted Senator Graham with a proposal to teach the next semester of civics. Following that teaching experience, he performed 99 additional workdays just in time for his 1986 successful campaign for U.S. Senate. Since then, he has completed 386 workdays. Graham has continued doing workdays throughout his tenure as governor and in the United States Senate. His jobs have included service as a police officer, busboy, railroad engineer, construction worker, fisherman, garbageman, factory worker, and teacher. On No. 365, he checked in customers, handled baggage and helped serve passengers on US Airways.

Governor of Florida

Bob Graham was elected Governor of Florida in 1978 after a seven-way Democratic primary race in which he initially placed second to Robert L. Shevin. His supporters at the time dubbed themselves "Graham crackers." With this victory, he realized his father's dream: Cap Graham had run unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination to be Governor of Florida back in 1944. Graham was re-elected in 1982 with 65% of the vote, defeating Republican nominee Skip Bafalis. As governor he was probably best known for the failure to stop the Mariel Boatlift, his pro-environmental policies, and overseeing resumption of the death penalty (16 people were electrocuted while he was governor[1].) During his tenure Graham signed at least 153 death warrants.[2] Previously, Graham had voted for capital punishment as a legislator.[3]

U.S. Senator

Graham was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1986, defeating incumbent Sen. Paula Hawkins 55 to 45 percent. He was re-elected in 1992 (over Bill Grant, 66–34) and 1998 (over Charlie Crist, 63–37)and chose not to seek re-election in 2004, therefore retiring from the Senate in January 2005.

Bob Graham was a member of the New Democrat Coalition.

He has a well known habit of logging his daily activities on color-coded notebooks, which some say may have cost him a spot on past vice-presidential tickets. All of the notebooks are now housed at the University of Florida library. A great champion for his home state, Graham always kept Florida orange juice on hand in his Senate office and was rarely seen without his trademark Florida tie.

Early in 2003, Graham underwent heart surgery and received an artificial replacement heart valve made from the tissue from the heart of a Holstein cow.

He cosponsored a bill to create a Director of National Intelligence.

As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Graham opposed the War in Iraq for fear it would divert U.S. attention from the fight in Afghanistan. After carefully reviewing information and meeting with military leaders in February 2002, he decided the war would be a "distraction" that would end poorly. He continues to oppose the Iraq War today.[2]

As a result of his service as the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in 2004 Bob Graham authored the book "Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia and the Failure of America's War on Terror." Shining much-needed light on areas the 9/11 Commission preferred to keep dark, Intelligence Matters chronicles the efforts of a historic joint House-Senate inquiry to get to the bottom of our intelligence failures on that infamous day in 2001. Originally published in 2004 amid the media circus surrounding The 9/11 Commission Report, the book provides an unflinching exposé of failure, incompetence, and deceit at the highest levels of our government. [3] In September 2008 the book was released as a Paperback with a new Preface and Postscript by the University Press of Kansas. [4]

Presidential and Vice Presidential politics

Graham was considered as a potential Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 2000[4][5]. In 2000 he was reportedly on Al Gore's shortlist of potential running mates[6], as well as a confirmed finalist on Bill Clinton's list in 1992.

2004 Presidential Race

Graham announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2004 election on the Democratic ticket on February 27, 2003. However, on October 7, 2003, he announced (with polls showing him in last place among a field of ten candidates) he was ending his presidential campaign, saying he started his campaign too late and had trouble raising money. In November, he announced that he would not seek another term in the Senate.

After John Kerry became the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in March 2004, there was some discussion in the media that Graham might be on the short list of Kerry's choices for vice president, presumably at least in part because having Graham on the ticket could help Kerry win Florida in the presidential election.

After politics

Former Senator Graham (center), with former Florida Governor Kenneth "Buddy" MacKay (right) at the dedication ceremony for Pugh Hall, home of the Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida

After teaching at Harvard University for the 2005–2006 academic year, Graham is now focused on founding two centers to train future political leaders, one at the University of Florida – where he earned his bachelor's degree in political science in 1959 – and one in his hometown at University of Miami.

The UF Center, known as the Bob Graham Center for Public Service[5], is housed in the university's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences[6] and provides students with opportunities to train for future leadership positions, meet current policymakers and take courses in critical thinking, language learning and studies of world cultures. On February 9, 2008, Pugh Hallwas dedicated on the UF campus – funded by longtime friend and fraternity brother of Graham, Jim Pugh, and his wife Alexis – and serves as home to the center, as well as the university's oral history and African and Asian languages programs.

In the Spring of 2009 Bob Graham published a book titled "America, The Owner's Manual: Making Government work for you" which inspires and teaches citizens how they can participate in our democracy in effective ways. [7].

Bob Graham currently serves as the Chairman of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism.

Graham has also been sworn in as a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, established by Congress to examine the global and domestic causes of the recent financial crisis. The Commission will provide its findings and conclusions in a final report due to Congress on December 15, 2010.

Business interests

The Graham dairy farm was redeveloped into Miami Lakes, a residential and commercial community, in 1963 under the leadership of Bob Graham's brother, William. To this day, Bob Graham still owns a significant share of the Graham Companies, which is estimated to be worth $10 million. To avoid a potential conflict of interest, his various investments, including his share in the Miami Lakes development, are managed by a proxy and reported to Graham at the end of each year. Graham's total net worth is reported to be between $7.35 million and $31.7 million.


On November 18, 2005, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which was rebuilt during Graham's time as Governor, was renamed the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge by the Florida Legislature.

On May 6, 2006 at the Spring commencement for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the University of Florida awarded Bob Graham an honorary doctorate, the Doctor of Public Service.

Political offices
Preceded by
Reubin O'D. Askew
Governor of Florida
Succeeded by
Wayne Mixson
Preceded by
Richard Shelby
Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee
Succeeded by
Pat Roberts
Party political offices
Preceded by
Charles S. Robb
Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Succeeded by
Bob Kerrey
United States Senate
Preceded by
Paula Hawkins
United States Senator (Class 3) from Florida
Served alongside: Lawton Chiles, Connie Mack III, Bill Nelson
Succeeded by
Mel Martinez

See also


  1. ^ Execution List - Florida Department of Corrections
  2. ^ The Buying of the President 2008 : Archives : The Buying of the President 2004 - Bob Graham
  3. ^ Running Scared (
  4. ^ Politics1 - Guide to the Inactive 2004 Democratic Presidential Prospects
  6. ^ Gore, Lieberman prepare for public debut of Democratic ticket - August 7, 2000

External links

Simple English

Daniel Robert "Bob" Graham (born November 9, 1936) is a retired American politician. He was a well known member of the Democratic Party.

Graham has never lost an election. His career started with being a state legislator (Representative 1966-1969, and Senator 1971-1979).



Early career

In 1978 he was elected Governor of Florida. His Lt. Governor was Wayne Mixson. Graham was reelected in 1982, when he won 65% over a Republican candidate, Skip Bafalis.

He was a popular Governor. He did much to protect the environment. He also oversaw restart of state executions (as first time since 1964), when 16 people were electrocuted. The first of them, John Spenkelink, was the first to die in the electric chair since 1966 in the United States. He was the second to be executed since 1967 (after Gary Gilmore in Utah in January 1977).

Later career

Graham was elected to the United States Senate in 1986, defeating sitting Senator Paula Hawkins. He served as Senator from 1985 to 2005, when he retired. He resigned from governorship on January 3, 1985, three days before the swearing-in of the governor-elect, Republican Robert Martinez. For this time Mixson assumed his duties, making him the shortest serving governor in Florida history.

From 2001 to 2003 Graham was a chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Attempted careers

In early 2003 he decided to run for President but, after poor results in an opinion polls, he resigned and later supported John Kerry, who won the Democratic nomination. He was regarded as possible Kerry Vice Presidential candidate, but Kerry chose John Edwards.

Graham voted in 2002 against intervention in Iraq.


Came before:
Reubin Askew
Governor of Florida
Came after:
Wayne Mixson
Came before:
Paula Hawkins
U.S. Senator from Florida
Came after:
Mel Martinez


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