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Reubin Askew
Florida Governor Reubin Askew.jpg
37th Governor of Florida
In office
January 5, 1971 – January 2, 1979
Lieutenant Thomas Burton Adams, Jr. (1971-1975)
J.H. Williams (1975-1979)
Preceded by Claude Roy Kirk
Succeeded by Bob Graham
7th United States Trade Representative
In office
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Robert S. Strauss
Succeeded by Bill Brock
Personal details
Born (1928-09-11)September 11, 1928
Muskogee, Oklahoma
Died March 13, 2014 (aged 85)
Tallahassee, Florida
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Donna Lou Harper
Profession Politician, lawyer
Reubin Askew

Reubin O'Donovan Askew (September 11, 1928 - March 13, 2014) was a American politician. He is a democrat from Florida. He was born in Muskogee (Oklahoma), but since 1937 he lived in Florida. He was a lawyer. He served both in US Army and US Air Force.

Early life

Askew was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He studied at Florida State University and at University of Florida Levin College of Law. Askew married Donna Lou Harper in August 1956.


Prior to becoming governor, Askew served as state representative (1959-1963) and state senator (1963-1970). For a year (1969-1970) he was president pro tempore of this body.

He was elected governor in the same year and assumed duties in January 1971. He was one of the first southern governors (alongside Jimmy Carter of Georgia) yo openly support desegregation. In 1972 then-democratic Presidential nominee, senator George McGovern of South Dakota offered him vice presidency, but Askew declined it. McGovern lost to Richard Nixon.

Askew was reelected in 1974 and served until early 1979. After leaving office he was, for two years, United States Trade Representative under President Carter.

In 1984 he ran for President, but was defeated in the primary.

Personal life

Askew had two children; one son and one daughter. Askew lived in Tallahassee, Florida.


Askew died at the age of 85 on March 13, 2014 at his Tallahassee home, after a recent stroke.


He was regarded by many (including Harvard Scholars) as one of the best U.S. governors in the 20th Century.

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