Tallahassee, Florida , United States
|| September 11, 1928
|| March 13, 2014
Jun 27, 2015 11:55pm
Caucasian - Moderate-to-Conservative - Government Reform - Internationalist - Pro Free Trade - Pro-Affirmative Action - Pro-Capital Punishment - Pro-Life - Married - U.S. Army - Presbyterian - Straight -
|Info||Reubin O' Donovan Askew thirty-seventh Governor (January 5, 1971-January 7, 1975, January 7, 1975-January 2, 1979), was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on September 11, 1928, one of six children of Leon G and Alberta Askew. With his mother, he moved to Pensacola in 1937. He married the former Donna Lou Harper of Sanford. The Askews have two children, Angela and Kevin. The Governor received a B.S. from Florida State University and an LL.B. from the University of Florida. At Florida State, he was a student body president. There, he was also a distinguished military graduate and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Gold Key, Delta Tau Delta, and Alpha Phi Omega. At the University of Florida, he was class president, chairman of the Board of Masters of the Honor Court, executive director of the Law Review, and justice of the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity. He enlisted in the United States Army paratroopers in 1946 as a private and was discharged as a sergeant in 1948. he served in the Air Force in 1951-1953 as a second lieutenant. He began his public career as Assistant County solicitor for Escambia County in 1956-1958. he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1958 and to the Senate in 1962. He served as president pro tempore in 1969-1970. he was elected Governor in 1970 and reelected in 1974, the first governor to be elected for a second, successive 4-year term. |
After Inauguration he began to carry out an uphill fight for the tax reform he had promised the voters. He won legislative approval of a referendum on levying a corporate income tax and campaigned statewide for approval of this constitutional change. This victory was followed by repeal of consumer taxes on household utilities and apartment rentals. Additional State revenues were shared with school and other units of local government to ease the burden of local property taxes on homeowners. Upon the Governor's urging, the Legislature increased the homestead exemption from $5,000 to $10,000 for persons of 65 years and older and for the disabled. He also supported the rolling back of local school taxes by two mills and the exemption of the first $20,000 in intangibles from State taxes. If tax reform was the top priority of his first administration, Governor Askew saw his reelection as a mandate for full and public financial disclosure by candidates and public officials.
When the Legislature failed to act in what he regarded as a meaningful way, the Governor took the issue to the people, obtaining some 220,000 signatures to place the "Sunshine Amendment" on the ballot with ratification by 80% of the voters. He was a large part of the successful opposition to the ratification of the constitutional amendment which would have legalized casino gambling in an oceanfront area of Dade and Broward counties.
He named the first black Justice of the Supreme Court, the first woman to the State Cabinet, and the first black in a hundred years as a member of the Cabinet. He delivered the keynote address at the 1972 Democratic National Convention and served as chairman of President Carter's Advisory Committee on Ambassadorial appointments.
Upon retiring as Governor, Askew joined the Miami law firm of Greenberg, Traurig, Askew, Hoffman, Lipoff, Rosen and Quentel. On October 1, 1979, Askew was sworn in as United States Trade Representative with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, serving as a member of President Jimmy Carter's Cabinet. With the end of the Carter administration, Askew returned to the Miami law firm until in March 1981, he commenced "testing the waters" as a prelude to seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. That campaign ended as he finished last in the New Hampshire primary in February 1984. He announced his candidacy for the United States Senate on December 21, 1987, but withdrew on May 7, 1988, citing the rigors of fundraising.
Askew is teaching Florida Government and Florida Public Administration and Public Policy in Florida Universities. He began teaching at Florida International University in 1989, and taught there and at Florida Atlantic University where he became a tenured professor in 1991. His tenure was moved to Florida State University in September 1995. He is a Senior Fellow of the Florida Institute of Government, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the LeRoy Collins Center for Public Policy. In 1994 the university of Florida created the Askew Institute of Politics and Society and Florida State University renamed its school of Public Administration and Policy in his honor. He is "Of Counsel" to Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, PA.