Lawton Mainor Chiles, Jr.
(April 3, 1930 - December 12, 1998) was an American politician from Florida
. In a career spanning four decades, Chiles, a Democrat
who never lost an election, served in the Florida House of Representatives
(1958-66,) the Florida State Senate
(1966-70), the United States Senate
(1971-89,) and as the forty-first Governor
from 1991 until his death in office in the last month of his term. Chiles was the first Democratic
Governor in state history to have a Republican
Chiles was born in Polk County, Florida near Lakeland. There, he attended public school, then went on to the University of Florida (UF.) At the UF, Chiles was active in student politics, inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame (the most prestigious honor a student can receive at UF) and inducted into Florida Blue Key. He was also a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He graduated in[1952. Following his college years he went to Korea as an artillery officer in the US Army. After the war, Chiles returned to the University of Florida for law school, graduating in 1955; he passed the state bar exam that year and went into practice in Lakeland. He was married to Rhea Chiles and they currently have a family.