Former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, two-term Florida governor, dies

Community By Linda Trischitta, Editor Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Graham family released this statement Tuesday night about the passing of former U.S. Sen. Bob 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: Bob Graham.

“As a legislator, Florida’s 38th Governor, and a United States Senator, Bob Graham 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 to foster through his work with the intelligence community, and so many more.

“While he valued his opportunities to represent others in public office, the jobs Bob Graham most loved were those he spent working alongside everyday Floridians. His more than 400 workdays, in occupations ranging from construction to farming to hospitality, created wonderful friendships across the state and forever changed his perspective on Florida and his approach to public service.

“His very first workday – teaching citizenship at a Miami-Dade County high school – became a lifelong passion for helping Americans become effective citizens. That interest led to the creation of the University of Florida Bob Graham Center for Public Service, which will extend his legacy by ensuring future generations of leaders understand how to discharge their rights and responsibilities as citizens of our state, nation, and planet.

“Bob Graham would tell people his favorite title was not Governor or Senator. It was the name his grandchildren gave him: Doodle. ‘When I’m really good, they call me Super Doodle,’ he liked to say. For 87 years, Bob Graham was so much more than really good. He was a rare collection of public accomplishments and personal traits that combined to make him unforgettable. As his family, we will never forget his love for us, the love he had for Florida, the United States, and the world, and the love so many people showed him. We thank God for the gift of his life.”