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Mike Gravel
Mike Gravel.png
United States Senator
from Alaska
In office
January 3, 1969 – January 3, 1981
Preceded by Ernest Gruening
Succeeded by Frank Murkowski
3rd Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives
In office
January 25, 1965 – January 22, 1967
Preceded by Bruce Kendall
Succeeded by Bill Boardman
Member of the Alaska House of Representatives
from the 8th district
In office
January 23, 1963 – January 22, 1967
Preceded by John S. Hellenthal
Succeeded by Michael F. Beirne
Personal details
Born
Maurice Robert Gravel

(1930-05-13)May 13, 1930
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died June 26, 2021(2021-06-26) (aged 91)
Seaside, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic (before 2008; 2010–2021)
Libertarian (2008–2010)
Spouse(s)
Rita Martin
(m. 1959; div. 1981)

Whitney Stewart (m. 1984)
Children 2
Education Assumption College
American International College
Columbia University (BS)
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service 1951–1954
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg First Lieutenant

Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel (May 13, 1930 – June 26, 2021) was an American Democratic politician. He was member of the Libertarian Party from 2008 to 2010 when he re-joined the Democratic Party. He served as a United States Senator from Alaska (1969-1981) and, previously, as member of the Alaska House of Representatives (1953-1966, speaker from 1965-1966). Gravel was a two-time presidential candidate in 2008 and in 2020.

Early years

Gravel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He studied at Assumption College, American International College and at Columbia University. He moved to Alaska in 1956.

Senate years

From 1953 to 1966, Gravel was a member of the Alaska House of Representatives. From 1965 to 1966, Gravel was Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives. In 1969, he was elected United States Senator from Alaska.

Gravel is best known for his successful effort to end military draft during the Vietnam War and put the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971. He was seen as a possible running mate for George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign.

Gravel lost to Clark Gruening in the Democratic Party for re-election in the 1980 Senate election.

Presidential campaigns

2008

As a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008 he wanted withdrawal of US Armed Forces from Iraq, more health care and social security, and preventing global warming. He is also one of the earliest and the most famous supporters of direct democracy in the United States.

2020

On March 19, 2019, Gravel created an exploratory committee to run for President once again in the 2020 election. He said he would run not to win the nomination, but to raise awareness of bigger issues. On April 2, 2019, Gravel filed to officially run for office. He dropped out of the race on July 31, 2019 after failing to qualify for the debates. He endorsed Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard for President on August 5. His campaign manager was a 17 year old high school student.

Death

Gravel died on June 26, 2021 at his home in Seaside, California from multiple myeloma at the age of 91.

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