Bob Graham, former senator and governor of Florida, has died at the age of 87 – Top Stories (Trending Perfect)


TALLAHASSEE, FL – Former Florida Senator. Bob GrahamHe died, who chaired the Intelligence Committee following the 2001 terrorist attacks and opposed the invasion of Iraq. He was 87 years old.

His family announced his death on Tuesday in a statement published by his daughter, Gwen Graham, on the X website.

Graham, who served three terms in the Senate, made an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, emphasizing his opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

But his bid was delayed by heart surgery in January 2003. Unable to gain enough traction among voters to catch up, he withdrew in October of that year. He did not seek re-election in 2004 and was replaced by Republican Mel Martinez.

A man of many quirks, Graham mastered the “workday” political trick of spending a day doing various jobs from horse stall to FBI agent. He kept a meticulous diary, recording almost everyone he spoke to, everything he ate, the TV shows he watched, and even his golf scores.

But he closed his notebooks to the media during his short-lived presidential bid.

Graham was one of the first to oppose the Iraq War, saying that it shifted America's focus to the battle against terrorism based in Afghanistan. He also criticized the president George W. Bush For his failure to develop an occupation plan in Iraq after the US military overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Graham said Bush brought the United States into the war by exaggerating claims of the danger posed by Iraqi weapons of destruction that were never found. Graham said Bush distorted intelligence data, which he said was more serious than the sexual misconduct cases that led to the impeachment of President Clinton in the late 1990s.

This prompted Graham to launch his short-lived presidential campaign.

“The quagmire in Iraq is a distraction created by the Bush administration, and the Bush administration alone,” Graham said in 2003.

As a politician, few are better. Florida voters did not consider him the wealthy, Harvard-educated lawyer.

Graham's political career spanned five decades, beginning with his election to the Florida House of Representatives in 1966.

He won a state Senate seat in 1970, was elected governor in 1978 and was re-elected in 1982. Four years later, he won the first of three terms in the U.S. Senate when he ousted Republican incumbent Paula Hawkins.

Graham remained widely popular among Florida voters, winning re-election by wide margins in 1992 and 1998, winning 63 of 67 counties.

Even when he was in Washington, Graham never took his eyes off the state and leadership in Tallahassee.

When Gov. Jeb Bush and the Republican-controlled Legislature abolished the Board of Regents in 2001, Graham saw it as a move to politicize the state's university system. He led a successful petition drive the following year for a state constitutional amendment that created a Board of Governors to assume the role of guardians.

Daniel Robert Graham was born on November 9, 1936, in Coral Gables, where his father, Ernest “Cap” Graham, had moved from South Dakota and established a large dairy company. Young Bob milked cows, built fences and scooped manure as a teenager. One of his half-brothers, Philip Graham, was publisher of The Washington Post and Newsweek until he committed suicide in 1963, just one year after Bob Graham graduated from Harvard Law School.

In 1966, he was elected to the Florida Legislature, where he focused largely on education and health care issues.

But Graham got off to a shaky start as Florida's chief executive, and was called “the governor.” “Jello” for some early hesitation. He has shaken that label by dealing with several serious crises.

As governor, he also signed several death warrants, founded the Save the Manatee Club with entertainer Jimmy Buffett and led efforts to create several environmental programs.

Graham pushed through a bond program to buy up beaches and barrier islands threatened by development and also started the Save Our Everglades program to protect the state's water supply, wetlands and endangered species.

Graham was also known for 408 “work days,” including stints as a housewife, boxing ring announcer, flight attendant, and arson investigator.

“This has been a very important part of my development as a public servant, learning on a very human level what Floridians expect, what they want, what their aspirations are and then trying to interpret that and make it a policy that will 'improve their lives,'” Graham said in 2004 when he finished his job. The latter as Christmas gift wrap.

After leaving public life in 2005, Graham spent much of his time at the Public Policy Center named after him at the University of Florida and pushing the Legislature to require more civics classes in the state's public schools.

Graham was one of five members selected to an independent commission by President Barack Obama in June 2010 to investigate the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that threatened marine life and beaches along several southeastern Gulf states.



Leave a comment