Lindsey Graham – Everything about him
Lindsey Olin Graham (born July 9, 1955) is an American politician who serves as the senior United States Senator from South Carolina, a seat he has held since 2003. A member of the Republican Party, Graham has served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary since 2019.
A native of Central, South Carolina, Graham received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1981. Most of his active duty within his span of military service happened from 1982 to 1988 when he served with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the United States Air Force, as a defense attorney and then with the Air Force’s chief prosecutor in Europe based in West Germany. Later his entire service in the U.S. Air Force Reserve ran concurrently with his congressional career. He was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in 2014.
Graham worked as a lawyer in private practice before serving one term in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995. His served for four terms in the United States House of Representatives for South Carolina’s 3rd congressional district from 1995 to 2003. In 2002, Graham won the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Republican incumbent Strom Thurmond. He is running for re-election to a fourth term in 2020. Graham is known in the Senate for his advocacy of a strong national defense and aggressive interventionist foreign policy.
Initially, he was also known for his willingness to be bipartisan and work with Democrats on issues like campaign finance reform, a ban on waterboarding, immigration reform, and judicial nominees.
Lindsey Graham criticized the Tea Party movement, arguing for a more inclusive Republican Party.
Lindsey Graham his first and only presidential campaign between June and December 2015, dropping out before the 2016 Republican primaries began.
He was an outspoken critic of fellow Republican Donald Trump’s 2016 candidacy and repeatedly declared he did not support Trump; in particular, he took issue with Trump’s comments on Graham’s close friend, Senator John McCain.
After a March 2017 meeting with Trump, Graham became a staunch ally of the president, often issuing public statements in his defense. His reversal caught both parties by surprise and sparked much media attention.
Lindsey Graham – Early life
Lindsey Olin Graham was born in Central, South Carolina, where his parents, Millie (Walters) and Florence James “F.J.” Graham, ran a restaurant-bar-pool hall-liquor store, the “Sanitary Cafe.” His family is of Scots-Irish descent.
After graduating from D. W. Daniel High School, Graham became the first member of his family to attend college, and joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. When he was 21, his mother died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, aged 52, and his father died 15 months later of a heart attack, aged 69. Because his then-13-year-old sister was left orphaned, the service allowed Graham to attend the University of South Carolina in Columbia so he could be near home and care for his sister as her legal guardian.
During his studies, he became a member of the Pi Kappa Phi social fraternity.
He graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in psychology in 1977, and from the University of South Carolina School of Law with a J.D. in 1981.
Lindsey Graham – Military service
Graham being robed as a judge for the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, November 2003.
Upon graduating from the University of South Carolina School of Law, Graham was commissioned as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the United States Air Force in 1982 and began active duty that year. His duty began with a stint as an Air Force defense attorney, then was transferred to Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany, where from 1984 to 1988 he was the Air Force’s chief prosecutor in Europe. In 1984, as he was defending an Air Force pilot accused of using marijuana, he was featured in an episode of 60 Minutes that exposed the Air Force’s defective drug-testing procedures. After his service in Europe, he returned to South Carolina, leaving active duty in 1989.
He subsequently entered private practice as a lawyer.
Following his departure from the Air Force, he joined the South Carolina Air National Guard in 1989, where he served until 1995, then joining the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
During the 1990–91 Gulf War, Graham was recalled to active duty, serving as a judge advocate at McEntire Air National Guard Station in Eastover, South Carolina, where he helped brief departing pilots on the laws of war. In 1998, the Capitol Hill daily newspaper The Hill contended that Graham was describing himself on his website as an Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran. Graham responded: “I have not told anybody I’m a combatant. I’m not a war hero, and never said I was. … If I have lied about my military record, I’m not fit to serve in Congress”, further noting that he “never deployed.”
In 1998, Graham was promoted to lieutenant colonel. In 2004, he received his promotion to colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve at a White House ceremony officiated by President George W. Bush.
That year, a lower court determined that Graham’s service as a military judge while a sitting member of the Senate was acceptable. In 2006, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces set aside the lower court’s ruling after concluding it was improper for Graham to serve as a military judge.
In 2007, Lindsey Graham served in Iraq as a reservist on active duty for a short period in April and for two weeks in August, where he worked on detainee and rule-of-law issues.
He also served in Afghanistan during the August 2009 Senate recess. He was then assigned as a senior instructor at the Judge Advocate General’s School, though he never went.
In 2014, Lindsey Graham received a Bronze Star medal for meritorious service as a senior legal adviser to the Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan, spanning from August 2009 to July 2014, that oversaw the detention of military prisoners
In 2015, Graham retired from the Air Force with over 33 total years of service, after reaching the statutory retirement age of 60 for his rank.