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Former Florida Governor and Senator Bob Graham Has Died

Bob Graham
Wikipedia Commons
Bob Graham - November 9, 1936 – April 16, 2024
Bob Graham signing books at the Miami Book Fair International 2011
By Rodrigo Fernández - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Bob Graham signing books at the Miami Book Fair International 2011

Florida - Wednesday April 17, 2024: Former U.S. Senator and two-term Florida Governor Bob Graham has died. He was 87. Graham's family announced his death Tuesday evening in a statement posted on X by his daughter Gwen Graham.

"We are deeply saddened to report the passing of a visionary leader, dedicated public servant, and even more importantly, a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather," the family said.

Graham was a lawyer, author, and politician who served as the 38th governor of Florida from 1979 to 1987 and a United States senator from Florida from 1987 to 2005. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party of Florida issued a statement mourning his passing. It reads, in part - "There are no words that can fully capture what Bob Graham meant to the state of Florida. A giant in Florida politics, Bob set the standard for every elected official who followed - both Democrat and Republican."

Graham gained national prominence as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks and as an early critic of the Iraq war. He made an unsuccessful bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, emphasizing his opposition to the Iraq invasion.

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 co-chaired 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 worked 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 advocated 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. He also wrote four nonfiction books, Workdays: Finding Florida on the Job, Intelligence Matters, World at Risk, and America: The Owner's Manual, and an illustrated children's book, Rhoda the Alligator.

Florida Democratic Party