Facts about Lindsey Graham
Lindsey Graham Biography
Lindsey Graham was elected as a U.S. Senator from South Carolina in 2002. He was re-elected in 2008 and again in 2014.
A Republican with a history of bipartisan deal-making, in 2018 Lindsey Graham became known for his sudden and enthusiastic support of President Donald Trump, even though in 2016 he had called Trump “a kook” and said, “I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.”
Graham grew up in a small town in South Carolina, where his parents ran a pool hall and restaurant. When he was a young man, his parents died within 15 months of each other and Graham took care of his younger sister while attending the University of South Carolina for undergraduate and law degrees (1977 and 1981).
Graham was a lawyer in the United States Air Force for six years, and was then a member of South Carolina’s Air National Guard and the United States Air Force Reserve. He retired in 2015 after 33 years in the military, at the rank of colonel.
After one term in the South Carolina legislature, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995 and served there until 2003, when he replaced Strom Thurmond as a South Carolina senator.
Graham made his mark as a supporter of an aggressive foreign policy and advocate for the military, and by his deals with Democrats, often partnering with fellow Republican John McCain.
Graham announced his run for the presidency in 2015, and vied with Trump for the GOP nomination. For his part, Trump called Graham “a nut job,” and said, “He’s one of the dumbest human beings I’ve ever seen.”
By 2018, however, Graham was frequently on the news defending Trump’s behavior and comments, and downplaying any legislative disagreements.