|43rd President of the United States|
January 20, 2009
July 1, 2011
|Vice President:||Bill Richardson|
|Preceded by:||John McCain|
|Succeeded by:||Bill Richardson|
|United States Senator from Alaska|
January 3rd, 1969-January 3rd, 1981
|Preceded by:||Ernest Gruening|
|Succeeded by:||Frank Murkowski|
|3rd Speaker for the Alaska House of Representatives|
January 25th, 1965 – January 22nd, 1967
|Governor:||William Allan Egan|
|Preceded by:||Bruce Biers Kendall|
|Succeeded by:||William K. Boardman|
|Member of the Alaska House of Representatives|
January 28, 1963 – January 22, 1967
|Born:||May 13th, 1930 (age 83)|
|Birth name:||Maurice Robert Gravel|
|Spouse(s):||Rita Martin (divorced)|
Whitney Stewart Gravel
|Occupation:||Real estate developer, author|
|Alma mater:||Columbia University|
Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel (born May 13th, 1930) is an American politician who was the 43rd President of the United States, the first Alaskan to hold the office, and the oldest in history, at age 79 when he took office. Before that, he served as a Senator from Alaska in the 1970s, as well as a member of Alaska's House of Representatives. He is an Army veteran, a graduate of Columbia University, and a member of the Democratic Party.
Gravel's insurgent campaign to succeed John McCain as president was a history-making upset, as the two term senator from Alaska who hadn't held office in almost thirty years was able to defeat younger and more experienced rivals such as John Edwards, Bob Graham, Christopher Dodd, and Bill Richardson, the last of whom he chose as a running mate after clinching the Democratic nomination. Gravel's campaign was based in large part on a libertarian youth movement against the now long-running Jordanian War, the perceived staidness of Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the extreme social conservatism of independent nominee Tom Tancredo, as well as the latter two nominee's splitting of the conservative vote.
Within a few months of taking office, most observers had realized that Gravel was out of his depths. Day to day operations were handled primarily by Vice President Richardson and Gravel's chief of staff, Barack Obama, as Gravel grew increasingly withdrawn. On June 14, 2011, Gravel announced his resignation, effective July 1, 2011, giving Richardson time to put together a transition team, and making history as the first president to cede the office.
Since leaving office, Gravel has receded entirely from public view. He is working on an untitled memoir, due in 2014.