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Reubin Askew (1928-2014)

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Reubin Askew was born in Oklahoma in 1928. His parents would divorce and in 1937 his mother would take the family to Pensacola, Florida. Reubin would graduate high school and entered the Army as a paratrooper. He would spend two years and then was discharged in 1948. After the army he would attend Florida State University and would graduate 3 years later. At Florida State he would be elected Student Body President, this being his first act in a life long career as a politician. He would later get his law degree from University of Florida.

In the 1951 he entered the Air Force and served as a military intelligence officer for the next two years. It was in 1956 that Askew would be elected as Assistant County Solicitor of Escambia County, Florida. In 1958, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. He would serve two terms and in 1962 he would be elected to the Florida Senate.

It was in 1970 that Askew would run for Governor of Florida. Many Floridians found Askew to be a breath of fresh air. You see in the early 70's Florida, as in other southern states, the segregation of children in schools was coming to an end. In some instances there was major violence by students and parents. It was under his first term that this would take place. Askew also worked hard for tax reform within the state.

One of his biggest challenges was to bring back the death penalty and when the Supreme Court of 1972 allowed for executions to resume Askew signed off on it. Though he never signed any death warrants himself, he was the Governor who brought them back.

Askew came off as a man of integrity. When other politicians were getting their hands caught in the cookie jar, Askew made sure that his office was clean of any corruption.

After his terms as Florida's Governor came to an end he would make a run for the Presidency. Not fairing well he would eventually bow out of the race.

In retirement, he would be honored for many awards like the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as one of the greatest Governors for the 20th century.

Reubin Askew was married to his wife Donna for more than fifty years. He was a family man, an honest politician, and an esteemed member of the state of Florida. He is a man that will be extremely missed and loved by many of this state. May he Rest In Peace.

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