Joe Biden

Statement on the Death of Former United States Senator and Former Governor D. Robert Graham of Florida

April 17, 2024

Bob Graham was a colleague, friend, and devoted Floridian whose nearly 50 years of service to his beloved home State and to our country have made America a safer and stronger nation.

Bob chose a life of service, working his way up from State legislator, to Governor, Senator, and Presidential candidate. He and I served together in the U.S. Senate, as respective chairs of the Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees in the wake of 9/11, working to heal a shattered nation and to protect America in a changing world. Bob stood on principle against the Iraq war. He cosponsored my landmark Violence Against Women Act, transforming the way our Nation responds to domestic abuse and sexual assault. He was committed to education and to the environment, continuing work that he'd begun as Governor to support public schools and universities and to protect the water supply, wetlands, and wildlife of Florida's iconic Everglades. He was full of humor and humanity, and I'm grateful for the support that he gave me over the years.

Bob loved people, and he knew that politics at its core is about learning from and serving others. That's why he spent more than 400 "workdays" on the job with constituents, doing everything from picking tomatoes, to handling baggage, to patrolling the streets with police. He knew it matters to walk a mile in other folks' shoes. In recent years, he sought to instill that same ethic and empathy in a new generation of public servants through his center in Gainesville and by working to require civics classes in public schools. He inspired his own daughter Gwen to serve in Congress as well, and I'm proud to have her in my administration today, as an Assistant Secretary of Education. Bob was so proud too.

Our hearts today are with Bob's beloved wife of 65 years, Adele; with their four daughters, Gwen, Cissy, Suzanne, and Kendall; with their grandchildren and friends; and with the people of Florida, whom Bob served so well in so many ways for so long.

NOTE: The statement referred to Assistant Secretary of Education for Legislation and Congressional Affairs Gwendolyn Graham, Cissy Graham McCullough, Suzanne Graham Gibson, and Kendall Graham, daughters of former Sen. Graham.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement on the Death of Former United States Senator and Former Governor D. Robert Graham of Florida Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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