Reubin O'Donovan Askew

Reubin O'Donovan Askew

37th Governor of Florida (1971-1979)

 Personal Background:

Governor Askew, ca.1972

  • Born September 11, 1928- Muskogee, OK
  • First Lady Donna Lou Harper, married in 1956, two children


  • Graduated from Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL; Student body president
  • Graduated from University of Florida's Law School, Gainesville, FL; Class president

Service to Florida:

Enlisted in the United States Army paratroopers in 1946 and discharged as a sergeant in 1948. He served as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1951-1953. His public career began in 1956-1958 when Askew served as assistant county solicitor for Escambia County. He served initially in the Florida House of Representatives (1958) and moved to the Florida Senate in 1962, where he served as president pro tempore of the senate from 1969-1970. When he was elected governor in 1970 and again in 1974, Askew became the first governor to be elected for a second, successive four-year term in Florida history.

Most Notable Contributions as Governor:

The Askew Family, ca.1972

Governor Askew promised the taxpayers of Florida that he would implement substantial tax reform if elected. In addition to securing legislative approval to levy corporate income tax, he repealed consumer taxes on household utilities and apartment rentals. Homestead exception amounts were doubled, public financial disclosure by candidates and public officials became the order of the day. One of the most far-reaching amendments he championed was the "Sunshine Amendment" which required public officials to disclose their income sources. Since leaving office, Governor Askew has taught at all ten major public universities of Florida, and currently teaches in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. He was designated as a great Floridian by the Florida Department of State in 1998.


For Additional Information: