Lindsey Graham facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Official portrait, 2013
|United States Senator
from South Carolina
January 3, 2003
Serving with Tim Scott
|Preceded by||Strom Thurmond|
|Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee|
January 3, 2023
|Preceded by||Chuck Grassley|
|Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee|
February 3, 2021 – January 3, 2023
|Preceded by||Bernie Sanders|
|Succeeded by||Chuck Grassley|
|Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee|
January 3, 2019 – February 3, 2021
|Preceded by||Chuck Grassley|
|Succeeded by||Dick Durbin|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 3rd district
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Butler Derrick|
|Succeeded by||Gresham Barrett|
|Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 2nd district
January 12, 1993 – January 3, 1995
|Preceded by||Lowell Ross|
|Succeeded by||Bill Sandifer III|
Lindsey Olin Graham
July 9, 1955
Central, South Carolina, U.S.
|Education||University of South Carolina (BA, JD)|
|Branch/service||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1982–1988 (active)
1989–1995 (South Carolina Air National Guard)
|Unit||U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's Corps|
Lindsey Olin Graham (born July 9, 1955) is an American lawyer and politician serving as the senior United States senator from South Carolina, a seat he has held since 2003. A member of the Republican Party, Graham chaired the Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 2019 to 2021.
- Early life
- Military service
- Political career
- Political positions
- Electoral history
- Personal life
- See also
Lindsey Olin Graham was born in Central, South Carolina, where his parents, Millie (Walters) and Florence James "F.J." Graham, ran a restaurant/bar/pool hall/liquor store, the Sanitary Cafe. His family is of Scots-Irish descent. After graduating from D. W. Daniel High School, Graham became the first member of his family to attend college, and joined the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. When he was 21, his mother died of Hodgkin's lymphoma, aged 52, and his father died 15 months later of a heart attack, aged 69. Because his then-13-year-old sister was left orphaned, the service allowed Graham to attend the University of South Carolina in Columbia so he could remain near home as his sister's legal guardian. During his studies, he became a member of the Pi Kappa Phi social fraternity.
Most of his active duty during his military service happened from 1982 to 1988, when he served with the Judge Advocate General's Corps in the United States Air Force, as a defense attorney and then with the Air Force's chief prosecutor in Europe, based in West Germany. Later his entire service in the U.S. Air Force Reserve ran concurrently with his congressional career. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in 2014 and held the rank of colonel.
Graham worked as a lawyer in private practice before serving one term in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995. He served four terms in the United States House of Representatives for South Carolina's 3rd congressional district from 1995 to 2003. In 2002, Graham won the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Republican incumbent Strom Thurmond. He was reelected to a fourth term in 2020. In the Senate Graham advocates for strong national defense and aggressive interventionist foreign policy. Initially, he was known for his willingness to be bipartisan and work with Democrats on issues like campaign finance reform, a ban on waterboarding, cap and trade, immigration reform, and judicial nominees. He has criticized the Tea Party movement, arguing for a more inclusive Republican Party.
Graham sought the Republican nomination for president between June and December 2015, dropping out before the 2016 Republican primaries began. He was an outspoken critic of Donald Trump's 2016 candidacy and repeatedly said he did not support Trump; in particular, he took issue with Trump's comments on Graham's close friend, Senator John McCain. After a March 2017 meeting with Trump, Graham became a staunch ally of his, often issuing public statements in his defense. His reversal caught both parties by surprise and sparked media speculation. He became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January 2019, and led the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett, who was confirmed in October 2020.
In July 2010, Graham suggested that U.S. citizenship as a birthright guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should be amended, and that any children born to illegal immigrants in the United States should be considered illegal immigrants.
In 2022, Graham became one of ten Republican senators to support a bipartisan agreement on gun control, which included a red flag provision, a support for state crisis intervention orders, funding for school safety resources, stronger background checks for buyers under the age of 21, and penalties for straw purchases.
Graham opposed President Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in December 2009, and against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Graham is a cosponsor of the Healthy Americans Act.
Graham voted to support a constitutional amendment opposing marriage between same-sex couples in 2006.
In 2020, Graham sponsored the Growing Climate Solutions Act, a bill that would make it simpler for farmers to sell carbon credits on existing carbon trading markets in California and in the Northeast.
Graham supports an interventionist foreign policy.
War in Afghanistan
Graham suggested that the U.S. stay in Afghanistan permanently, claiming that this would benefit both nations.
Graham vehemently opposed Joe Biden's plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He suggested that this plan puts the U.S. in danger and could cause "another 9/11".
On November 6, 2010, Graham called for a preemptive military strike to weaken the Iranian regime. In 2011, he supported a continuing U.S. military presence in Iraq, saying, "If we're not smart enough to work with the Iraqis to have 10,000 to 15,000 American troops in Iraq in 2012, Iraq could go to hell."
In December 2010, Graham was one of 26 senators to vote against the ratification of New Start, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the U.S. and the Russian Federation obliging both countries to have no more than 1,550 strategic warheads or 700 launchers deployed during the next seven years along with providing a continuation of on-site inspections that halted when START I expired the previous year. It was the first arms treaty with Russia in eight years.
In August 2011, Graham co-sponsored a resolution that contended that "Russia's invasion of Georgian land in 2008 was an act of aggression, not only to Georgia but to all new democracies."
On March 3, 2022, Graham tweeted that "The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out" in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The tweet sparked controversy after Graham called for the assassination of Vladimir Putin.
On May 29, 2023, the Russian Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant against Graham for his comments about the war.
Graham supported the NATO-led military intervention in Libya.
On January 5, 2017, Graham condemned Obama for abstaining from UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem as a violation of international law.
On March 11, 2019, Graham said he would encourage the Trump administration to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
In October 2017, in the wake of the Tongo Tongo ambush, which killed four U.S. soldiers, Graham said, "I didn't know there was a thousand troops in Niger." A few days later, he called for an expanded role of the U.S. military in Niger: "You're going to see more actions in Africa, not less; you're going to see more aggression by the United States toward our enemies, not less; you're going to have decisions being made not in the White House but out in the field."
In July 2018, Graham and Senator Jeanne Shaheen visited Manbij in Syria, and met the Manbij Military Council, which led an offensive to liberate the city from ISIS in 2016 with help from the US-led coalition.
In March 2015, Graham supported the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, saying, "We want to have a relationship with Saudi Arabia. They're a strategic partner. They're a mortal enemy of the Iranians." In June 2019, he was one of seven Republicans to vote to block Trump's Saudi arms deal providing weapons to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Jordan, and one of five Republicans to vote against an additional 20 arms sales. In late 2019, Graham took a warmer approach toward Saudi Arabia. He praised the Trump administration for sending thousands of additional troops to Saudi Arabia to counter Iran's threat. He also praised Saudi Arabia for opening its airspace to Israeli flights.
In October 2019, Graham said he would "introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria" and that he would "call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the US in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate."
Although Graham signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge in June 2012, he went on record supporting the closure of tax loopholes without compensating decreases in other tax revenue, saying, "We're so far in debt that if you don't give up some ideological ground, the country sinks."
|1994||James E. Bryan Jr.||59,932||40%||Lindsey Graham||90,123||60%||*|
|1996||Debbie Dorn||73,417||39%||Lindsey Graham||114,273||60%||Lindal Pennington||Natural Law||1,835||1%|
|1998||(no candidate)||Lindsey Graham||129,047||100%||Write-ins||402||<1%|
|2000||George Brightharp||67,170||30%||Lindsey Graham||150,180||68%||Adrian Banks||Libertarian||3,116||1%||*|
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1994, write-ins received 13 votes. In 2000, Natural Law candidate LeRoy J. Klein received 1,122 votes and write-ins received 33 votes. George Brightharp ran under both the Democratic and United Citizens Parties and received 2,253 votes on the United Citizen line.
|Year||Democratic||Votes||Pct||Republican||Votes||Pct||3rd party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd party||Party||Votes||Pct|
|2002||Alex Sanders||487,359||44%||Lindsey Graham||600,010||54%||Ted Adams||Constitution||8,228||1%||Victor Kocher||Libertarian||6,648||1%||*|
|2008||Bob Conley||785,559||42%||Lindsey Graham||1,069,137||58%||Write-ins||608||<1%|
|2014||Brad Hutto||480,933||39%||Lindsey Graham||672,941||54%||Thomas Ravenel||Independent||47,588||4%||Victor Kocher||Libertarian||33,839||3%||*|
|2020||Jaime Harrison||1,110,828||44%||Lindsey Graham||1,369,137||54%||Bill Bledsoe||Constitution||32,845||1%|
|Republican||Lindsey Graham (incumbent)||187,736||66.84%|
|Republican||Lindsey Graham (incumbent)||178,833||56.42%|
|Republican||Lindsey Graham (incumbent)||317,512||67.69%|
Graham has never been married and has no children. He helped raise his sister, Darline Graham Nordone, after the deaths of his mother and father, which occurred within 15 months of each other, leaving the two without parents when Graham was 22 and she was 13. Graham has said that his parents' early deaths made him mature more quickly, and Nordone, who introduced her brother at his 2016 announcement of his candidacy for president, said she hoped to be with him on the campaign trail frequently to show voters his softer side. "He's kind of like a brother, a father and a mother rolled into one," she said. "I've always looked up to Lindsey."
Graham lives in Seneca, South Carolina. A Southern Baptist, he is a member of the Corinth Baptist Church.
In Spanish: Lindsey Graham para niños
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