NewsEx-Florida Governor Sen. Graham Is Dead

Ex-Florida Governor Sen. Graham Is Dead

April 17, (THEWILL)- Former U.S. Senator and two-term governor of Florida, Bob Graham, has died at the age of 87.

His death was announced 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,” she wrote on Tuesday night.

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The Bob Graham Center for Public Service also confirmed the former senator’s death, sharing a photo gallery of his life.

In a statement on X, the Centre wrote: “The Bob Graham Center community is deeply saddened by the death of our beloved founder, former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator, Bob Graham. We honour his historic legacy and life of service.”

The family said Graham, the son of a state senator who served three terms as senator in the U.S. Senate himself, “devoted his life to the betterment of the world around him. The memorials to that devotion are everywhere – from the Everglades and other natural treasures he was determined to preserve, to the colleges and universities he championed with his commitment to higher education, to the global understanding he helped foster through his work with the intelligence community, and so many more.”

Graham served three terms in the US Senate. He 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.

Graham was a man of many quirks. He perfected the “workdays” political gimmick of spending a day doing various jobs from horse stall mucker to FBI agent and kept a meticulous diary, noting almost everyone he spoke with, everything he ate, the TV shows he watched and even his golf scores.

He once said the notebooks were a working tool for him and he was reluctant to describe his emotions or personal feelings in them.

Graham was among the earliest opponents of the Iraq war, saying it diverted America’s focus on the battle against terrorism centred in Afghanistan. He was also critical of President George W. Bush for failing to have an occupation plan in Iraq after the U.S. military threw out Saddam Hussein in 2003.

According to Graham, Bush took the United States into the war by exaggerating claims of the danger presented by the Iraqi weapons of destruction that were never found. He said Bush distorted intelligence data and argued it was more serious than the sexual misconduct issues that led the House to impeach President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s. It led him to launch his short, abortive presidential bid.

Graha studied at the University of Florida and later received a law degree from Harvard. His 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 and then was elected governor in 1978. He was re-elected in 1982. Four years later, he won the first of three terms in the U.S. Senate when he ousted incumbent Republican Paula Hawkins.

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