Miami, Florida , United States
|| February 03, 1944
Dec 01, 2012 02:39pm
Caucasian - Conservative - Anti-Civil Unions - Anti-Gay Marriage - Pro-Life -
|Info||State Treasurer/Fire Marshal Ex-State Education Commissioner & Ex-State Rep. |
Tom Gallagher was born in Wilmington, Delaware. The eldest of eight children, Gallagher moved to Florida in 1961 to attend the University of Miami, where he received a bachelor's degree in business administration. After graduating from college, he served in the United States Army as a member of the prestigious Presidential Honor Guard in Ft. Myer, Virginia.
Following his military service, he returned to Florida and worked for a school furniture and equipment distributor and served as a representative for several library furniture manufacturers. He also worked in the mortgage insurance industry as a state and regional sales manager. Gallagher's life in public service began in 1974, when for seven out of 13 years he was the only Republican elected to the Florida House of Representatives from Dade County. He served as chairman of the Dade House Delegation in 1980 and as Minority Whip from 1980 to 1982. Gallagher was selected by his colleagues as runner-up for Most Effective in Debate in 1981, and in 1984, was named Most Effective in Committee.
Gallagher served as president of Gallagher Financial Systems, Inc., a mortgage software business owned and operated by his brother Doug until 1987, when Governor Bob Martinez appointed him Secretary of the Department of Professional Regulation.
In 1988, he was first elected State Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal, where he established himself as an effective advocate for Florida consumers and built a reputation as a prudent, innovative manager of state dollars. Gallagher is best known for his leadership in the aftermath of Florida's most devastating and costly natural disaster ? Hurricane Andrew ? when thousands of Floridians needed claims assistance and insurance companies threatened to drop policyholders and leave the state. Gallagher provided on-the-scene assistance to consumers, stopped insurance companies from canceling policies and helped create the state's insurer for homeowners who could not obtain insurance.
During his tenure as Insurance Commissioner, Gallagher also spearheaded the creation of the Healthy Kids Corporation, a program that offers health care to uninsured children. Since its inception, the program has provided health insurance to more than 500,000 children statewide.
In 1998, Gallagher was elected Commissioner of Education. He implemented a variety of initiatives to revitalize public education and assist students, teachers, parents and administrators. He fought for tougher standards, increased accountability and implemented a statewide system to improve school safety.
Gallagher was again elected the state?s Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner and Fire Marshal in November 2000. Issues demanding his attention include the availability of windstorm and homeowner?s insurance, health insurance for small employe