Charles Joseph Crist, Jr.
Charles "Charlie" Joseph Crist, Jr.
44th Governor of Florida (2007-2011)
- Born July 24, 1956- Altoona, PA
- First Lady Carole Rome, married in 2008
- Graduated from St. Petersburg High School, Saint Petersburg, FL; Class president
- Attended Wake Forest University, Wake Forest, NC
- Graduated from Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; Vice president of student body
- Graduated from Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, AL
Service to Florida:
As the grandson of an immigrant from Cyprus, and the son of a physician and homemaker, Governor Crist strove to prove that the American dream can become a reality for all Americans. His interest in politics began at an early age. He served as class president at St. Petersburg High School, as well as starting quarterback. With an undergraduate degree from Florida State University and a law degree from the Cumberland School of Law, Governor Crist has worked tirelessly for the citizens of Florida on issues regarding education, crime, the environment, civil rights, and senior citizens. Prior to his inauguration, Governor Crist served as Florida's Attorney General, Commissioner of Education, Deputy Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and in the Florida Senate.
Most Notable Contributions as Governor:
Guided by a strong belief in government’s duty to be “of the people, by the people and for the people,” Governor Crist created the Office of Open Government on Inauguration Day, committing his administration to unprecedented transparency. Also, ethics violations by public officials resulted in Governor Crist’s suspending and/or removing more than 40 from office.
Governor Crist sought a change in clemency rules that expedites the restoration of civil rights for certain ex-offenders. A life-long member of the NAACP St. Petersburg Chapter, he also sought to expunge all criminal records of the civil rights era “Freedom Fighters” in St. Augustine and posthumously pardon musician Jim Morrison.
During his term, Florida saw its lowest crime rate in 39 years, and Florida’s public education system rose to eighth in the nation, up from 31st in 2007, according to Education Week magazine. In addition, Florida students achieved significant reading and math gains, and the high school graduation rate reached an all-time high.
Everglades restoration expanded to include the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and estuaries, as well as a historic land acquisition by the South Florida Water Management District. In addition, Florida significantly expanded its use of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and ocean technologies.
The Governor’s Explore Adoption initiative resulted in a record-breaking number of adoptions of children from state care and one-third fewer children in out-of-home care.