Bob Graham

  • Fall 2005

BOB GRAHAM was born on November 9, 1936, in Dade County, Florida, where he grew up on his family's dairy and beef cattle farm. He attended public schools in Dade County; the University of Florida, where he graduated with high honors in 1959; and Harvard Law School, receiving his LLB in 1962. While working in the family business-which expanded to include the development of the New Town of Miami Lakes - Graham served 12 years in the Florida Legislature. In 1978, he was elected Governor of Florida and served two terms. In 1986, he was elected to the United States Senate, and he was re-elected in 1992 and 1998. He chose to retire from public office in early 2005. As Governor, Graham served as chair of the Education Commission of the States and the Southern Regional Education Board. In 1985, he was recognized for his leadership in education by the Chief State School Officers.

While in the Senate, he served on the Select Senate Committee of Intelligence from 1993 to 2003 and as the committee's chairman in 2001 and 2002. He has been a lifelong advocate of public education and preservation of the environment. Since 1974, Bob Graham has taken "Workdays" in various occupations and professions, beginning as a high school civics teacher. In December 2004, he completed his 408th. He credits his three decades of experiences laboring side-by-side with average Americans for his insights into the need for better education about the role of government.