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Bob Graham
""Bob Graham, official Senate photo portrait, color.jpg
Chair of the "National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
In office
May 21, 2010 – January 11, 2011
Served with "William Reilly
President "Barack Obama
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Chair of the "Senate Intelligence Committee
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by "Dick Shelby
Succeeded by "Pat Roberts
"United States Senator
from "Florida
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by "Paula Hawkins
Succeeded by "Mel Martinez
38th "Governor of Florida
In office
January 2, 1979 – January 3, 1987
Lieutenant Wayne Mixson
Preceded by "Reubin Askew
Succeeded by "Wayne Mixson
Member of the "Florida Senate
from the 33rd district
48th (1970–1972)
In office
November 3, 1970 – November 7, 1978
Preceded by "Richard Stone
Succeeded by John Hill
Member of the "Florida House of Representatives
from the 105th district
"Dade County, Group 16 (1966–1967)
In office
November 8, 1966 – November 3, 1970
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Sherman Winn
Personal details
Born Daniel Robert Graham
(1936-11-09) November 9, 1936 (age 81)
"Coral Gables, "Florida, "U.S.
Political party "Democratic
Spouse(s) "Adele Khoury
Children 4 (including "Gwen)
Education "University of Florida ("BA)
"Harvard University ("JD)
Signature ""

Daniel Robert Graham (born November 9, 1936) is an American politician and author. A member of the "Democratic Party, he was the "38th governor of "Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a "United States Senator from 1987 to 2005.

Born in "Coral Gables, Florida, Graham won election to the "Florida Legislature after graduating from "Harvard Law School. After serving in both houses of the Florida Legislature, Graham won the 1978 Florida gubernatorial election, and was reelected in 1982. In the "1986 Senate elections, Graham defeated incumbent "Republican Senator "Paula Hawkins. He helped found the "Democratic Leadership Council and eventually became Chairman of the "Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham ran for the "2004 Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out before the first primaries. He declined to seek reelection in 2004 and retired from the Senate.

Graham served as co-chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling and as a member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the CIA External Advisory Board. He works at the "Bob Graham Center for Public Service at his undergraduate alma mater, the "University of Florida. He also served as Chairman of the "Commission on the Prevention of WMD proliferation and terrorism. Through the WMD policy center he advocates for the recommendations in the Commission's report, "World at Risk." In 2011 Graham published his first novel, the thriller The Keys to the Kingdom.[1] He has also written three nonfiction books: Workdays: Finding Florida on the Job, Intelligence Matters, and America: The Owner's Manual.


Personal background[edit]

Bob Graham signing books at the Miami Book Fair International 2011.

Graham was born in "Coral Gables, Florida, the son of Hilda Elizabeth (née Simmons), a schoolteacher, and "Ernest R. Graham, a Florida state senator, mining engineer, and dairy/cattleman.[2] He is the youngest of four children. His siblings are "Philip Graham, former publisher of the "Washington Post; William Graham of Miami Lakes, Florida; and Mary Crow. He married "Adele Khoury, 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.

Bob Graham attended "Miami Senior High School from 1952 to 1955; he was Student Body President his senior year. He was International Trustee of the "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 Epsilon Zeta chapter of "Sigma Nu fraternity and was inducted into "Phi Beta Kappa, the University of Florida Hall of Fame and "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 School alum.

Political career[edit]

Graham was elected to the "Florida House of Representatives in 1966 and reelected in 1967 and 1968, each time representing all of "Dade County. He was elected to the "Florida Senate in 1970, also from Dade County. "Redistricted into a seat encompassing portions of northern Dade and southern "Broward County, Graham was reelected to District 33 in 1972 and 1976.


Bob Graham's campaign trademark was to work a full "eight-hour day at various jobs that 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 chairman of 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 102 additional work days during his successful 1978 gubernatorial campaign. 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. He totaled 408 work days.["citation needed]

Governor of Florida[edit]

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 percent of the vote, having defeated the Republican nominee, "U.S. Representative "L. A. "Skip" Bafalis of "Palm Beach.

Graham emphasized education, and placed a focus on improvement of the public universities in the state. By the end of his second term the state university system was among the first quartile of state systems in America, and its public schools and community colleges had substantially improved their academic standing.

In addition, Graham's administration focused on economic diversification and environmental policies. During his tenure as governor, the state added 1.2 million jobs, and for the first time in state history the per capita income of Floridians exceeded the US average. For three of his eight years Florida was rated by the accounting firm Grant Thornton as having the best business climate of all states in the union.

Graham also launched the most extensive environmental protection program in the state's history, focused on preserving endangered lands. During his tenure thousands of acres of threatened and environmentally important lands were brought into state ownership for permanent protection. His keystone accomplishment was the establishment of the Save the Everglades program, which has now been joined by the federal government in a commitment to restore the Everglades.

Graham left the governorship with an 83% approval rating. According to the New York Times, Graham was considered one of the most popular politicians in Florida.[3]

U.S. Senator[edit]

Graham was then elected to the U.S. Senate in "1986, defeating incumbent Sen. "Paula Hawkins 55 to 45 percent. He was reelected in "1992 (over "Bill Grant, 66%–34%) and "1998 (over "Charlie Crist, 63%–37%) and chose not to seek reelection in 2004. Upon retiring from the Senate in January 2005, Graham had served 38 consecutive years in public office.

During his 18 years in the Senate, Graham served on the environment and finance committees, and was a founding member of the "Democratic Leadership Council. He was also active on veteran's issues and foreign policy, including chairing the US-Spain Council, for which he received the highest civilian recognition for a non-Spaniard by King "Juan Carlos.["citation needed]

Graham served 10 years on the "Senate Intelligence Committee, which he chaired during and after 9/11 and the run-up to the Iraq war. He led the "joint congressional investigation into 9/11. As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Graham opposed the War in Iraq and was one of the 23 Senators who voted against President Bush's request for authorization of the use of military force. After meeting with military leaders in February 2002, and requesting and reviewing a "National Intelligence Estimate, he said he "felt we were being manipulated and that the result was going to distract us from where our real enemies were". He continued to oppose the Iraq War, saying in 2008: "I'm afraid I never wavered from my belief that this was a distraction that was going to come to a bad end in Iraq and an even worse end in Afghanistan"[4]

In 2004 Graham published Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia and the Failure of America's War on Terror. In September 2008 the book was released in paperback with a new preface and postscript.

Graham has a well-known habit of meticulously logging his daily activities (some as mundane as when he ate a tuna sandwich or rewound a tape of "Ace Ventura[5]) on color-coded notebooks, which some say may have cost him a spot on past vice-presidential tickets. The notebooks are now housed at the University of Florida library. A great advocate 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.

Presidential and Vice Presidential politics[edit]

Graham was considered as a Democratic nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2004.[6][7] He was a finalist on "Bill Clinton's shortlist of running mates in 1992, and was reportedly on "Al Gore's shortlist in 2000.[8]

2004 Presidential election[edit]

In December 2002 Graham announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the "2004 election. On January 31, 2003, he had open-heart surgery and his campaign faltered. He withdrew his candidacy on October 7, 2003. 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, some discussed the possibility that Graham would be on the "shortlist of Kerry's choices for running mate.

After politics[edit]

Former Senator Graham (center), with former Florida Governor "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 2005–06 academic year, Graham focused on founding a center to train future political leaders, at the "University of Florida – where he earned his bachelor's degree in political science in 1959.

The UF Center, known as the "Bob Graham Center for Public Service, is housed in the university's "College of Liberal Arts and Sciences the Center provides students with opportunities to train for future leadership positions, and the university community to engage with policy makers and scholars. On February 9, 2008, The James and Alexis Pugh Hall funded by longtime friends of the Graham's was dedicated in the historic area of the UF campus. Pugh Hall serves as the home of the Center, as well as the university's oral history and African and Asian languages programs.

In spring 2009 Graham published America, The Owner's Manual: Making Government work for you, a book about inspiring and teaching citizens to effectively participate in democracy.

Since his retirement from the Senate, Graham has published almost 70 op-eds on state and national issues. He is also a member the "Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank.[9]

Graham's most recent venture was to create the Florida Conservation Coalition, which aims to unite numerous environmental groups to lobby the Florida governor and legislature on environmental issues in Florida.

Business interests[edit]

The Graham dairy farm transformed "Miami Lakes, a residential and commercial new town community, in 1963 under the leadership of Graham's brother William. To this day, Bob Graham still owns a significant share of the Graham Companies, and serves on the board of directors. 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["citation needed].


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

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


  1. ^ Linda Davidson. Bob Graham pens spy novel ‘Keys to the Kingdom’, "The Washington Post, 2011-06-25; retrieved 2012-05-04
  2. ^
  3. ^ Nagourney, Adam (24 December 2002). "Senator Graham Considers Run for President". New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Stein, Sam (March 28, 2008). "Graham: I Never Wavered In My Belief That The War Was Wrong". "The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ Tapper, Jake. "'1:30-1:45: Rewind Ace Ventura'". " 2003-06-03. Retrieved 2014-11-08.
  6. ^ Politics1 – Guide to the Inactive 2004 Democratic Presidential Prospects Archived May 15, 2008, at the "Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Gore, Lieberman prepare for public debut of Democratic ticket – August 7, 2000 Archived August 13, 2007, at the "Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Inter-American Dialogue | Bob Graham". Retrieved 2017-04-12. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
"Reubin Askew
"Democratic nominee for "Governor of Florida
"1978, "1982
Succeeded by
"Steve Pajcic
Preceded by
"Max Baucus, "Joe Biden, "David L. Boren, "Barbara Boxer, "Robert Byrd, "Dante Fascell, "Bill Gray, "Tom Harkin, "Dee Huddleston, "Carl Levin, "Tip O'Neill, "Claiborne Pell
"Response to the State of the Union address
Served alongside: "Bill Clinton, "Tip O'Neill
Succeeded by
"Tom Daschle, "Bill Gray, "George Mitchell, "Chuck Robb, "Harriet Woods
Preceded by
"Bill Gunter
"Democratic nominee for "U.S. Senator from "Florida
("Class 3)

"1986, "1992, "1998
Succeeded by
"Betty Castor
Preceded by
"Chuck Robb
Chair of the "Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
Succeeded by
"Bob Kerrey
New office Chair of the "Senate New Democrat Coalition
Succeeded by
"Tom Carper
"Mary Landrieu
Political offices
Preceded by
"Reubin Askew
"Governor of Florida
Succeeded by
"Wayne Mixson
"U.S. Senate
Preceded by
"Paula Hawkins
"United States Senator (Class 3) from Florida
Served alongside: "Lawton Chiles, "Connie Mack, "Bill Nelson
Succeeded by
"Mel Martinez
Preceded by
"Dick Shelby
Chair of "Senate Intelligence Committee
Succeeded by
"Pat Roberts
Government offices
New office Chair of the "National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
Served alongside: "William Reilly
Position abolished
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