Former U.S. Sen. and two-term Florida Gov. Bob Graham dies at 87

Former Democratic Senator and two-term Florida Gov. Bob Graham has died at 87.

Graham’s family announced the death Tuesday evening in a statement posted on X by his daughter Gwen 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 family announced. 

“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,” the family said.

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Former Florida first lady Adele Graham and ex-Sen. and Florida Gov. Bob Graham in the audience as the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida hosts a gubernatorial candidate forum as part of the Florida Democratic Party’s annual fundraiser at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida, on June 17, 2017. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

His family remembered Graham for being a devoted grandfather and for his love for Florida.

“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,” the family said.

“For 87 years, Bob Graham was so much more than really good,” they said. “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.”

Bob Graham

Most of the Democratic Presidential candidates showed up tonight for the Democratic Committee presidential dinner. (Michael Williamson/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-C.A., remembered Graham as a “patriotic American.”

“It was with the deepest respect and sadness that I learned of the passing of Senator Bob Graham: a patriotic American and a great Member of the United States Senate,” she wrote in a X post. 

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“It was my privilege to work closely with Senator Bob Graham when he was serving as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,” she wrote. “He brought his love for his family and for his state of Florida to the Senate, where he served with immense dignity and courage.”

Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R-F.L.) thanked Graham for dedicating “his life to our state”

“Bob Graham was a good man and a great Floridian who dedicated his life to our state,” Scott said. “His legacy will live forever, not because of any title he held, but for what he did with those opportunities to improve Florida and the lives of families in the Sunshine State.”

“Ann and I are heartbroken to learn of his passing,” he said. “He and Adele have been so kind to our family and we will cherish the time we spent together. Please join us in praying for the Graham family and all who mourn Bob’s passing.”

Bob Graham

Former Governor of Florida and Senator Bob Graham attends Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine meeting with Local Mayors and Elected Officials for a policy Meeting at Southwest Focal Point Senior Center on August 27, 2016 in Pembroke Pines, Florida. (Johnny Louis/FilmMagic)

The former senator was among the earliest opponents of the Iraq war and was critical of former President George W Bush’s Iraq occupancy policies in 2003 following the removal of Saddam Hussein.

During his 18 years in Washington, Graham worked across the aisle, particularly with Florida Republican Connie Mack during their dozen years together in the Senate.

He served in the senate from 1979-1987.

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After leaving public life in 2005, Graham spent much of his time at a public policy center named after him at the University of Florida and pushing for legislation to require more civic classes in the Sunshine State’s public schools.

Graham was one of five members selected for an independent commission by  in June 2010 to investigate a massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that threatened sea life and beaches along several southeastern Gulf states.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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