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Bob Graham, Former Florida Governor and Senator, Dies at 87

Daniel Robert Graham, who never used his first name, was born in Coral Gables, Florida, on November 9, 1936, to Ernest R. “Cap” and Hilda (Simmons) Graham. From a previous marriage to Florence Morris, Ernest Graham had three children, Mary, Philip and Bill Graham, half-siblings of Robert. Phil Graham and his wife, Katharine (Meyer) Graham, whose family owned the Washington Post, co-owned the paper and he also became its publisher.

Ernest Graham, dairy farmer, mining engineer, real estate developer and Democratic politician, was a senator from Florida from 1937 to 1944. His second wife was a teacher. Some genealogical studies suggest that the Graham family shared common distant ancestors with Presidents Jimmy Carter, Richard M. Nixon, and Warren G. Harding.

At Miami Senior High School, Robert Graham received the Sigma Chi Award, the school’s highest honor for character, leadership, scholarship and service; was elected student body president his senior year and graduated in 1955. At the University of Florida, he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1959. He earned a law degree from Harvard. School in 1962.

In 1959, Mr. Graham married Adele Khoury. They had four daughters: Gwen, Cissy, Suzanne and Kendall. Gwen Graham served as a U.S. Representative in Florida from 2015 to 2017, ran unsuccessfully for governor of Florida in 2017, and became deputy secretary of education in the Biden administration.

Mr. Graham lived in Miami Lakes, a town founded by his family. He began his political career in 1966 with election to the Florida House of Representatives from Dade County. In 1970, he won a seat in the Florida Senate, also from Dade, and was re-elected in 1972 and 1976 in a redrawn district that encompassed parts of northern Dade and southern Broward counties.

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