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Remembering former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham

Bob Graham passed away on April 16, 2024 at the age of 87. Mr. Graham is a legend in Florida politics. He spent his life in public service, first serving in the Florida House of Representatives from 1966 to 1970, then he was a Florida Senator from 1970 to 1978, he was then elected as Florida’s 38th Governor serving two terms from 1979 until 1987. And finally, he was elected to the United States Senate and stayed in that role until retiring from politics in 2005.

Governor Graham was a Democrat, and after his passing the Florida Democratic Party issued the following statement:

"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. He lived a life most of us could only dream of, one where he impacted the lives of millions with an unparalleled heart for service and a moral compass that always pointed true.”

Governor Graham was also Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee from June of 2001 through January of 2003. Through that position he helped create and co-chaired, with Florida Congressman Porter Goss, the House & Senate's Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.

We remember Governor Graham, and get a glimpse into our nation's history, through the lens of a conversation that happened on this show on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004. It was about three weeks from the 2004 presidential election when President George W. Bush was facing off against Senator John Kerry. Vice President Dick Cheney actually spoke at Florida Gulf Coast University earlier that day.

Mr. Graham had just published a book titled “Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia, and the Failure of America's War on Terror.” This show launched in the Spring of 2004 as a live, hour long call-in show. Our founding host was Ryan Warner. He was in the host chair for about a year before moving on to Colorado Public Radio, where he to this day still hosts a statewide show there called Colorado Matters. Today we listen back to excerpts from that show with Ryan behind the mic.

Former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham will lie in state in Florida’s Historic Capitol from 11 AM to 1 PM on Friday, April 26. Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered U.S. and Florida flags to be flown at half-staff “at all local and state buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the state” until sunset on the 26th.

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