Michael Dukakis Biography

(65th and 67th Governor of Massachusetts (1975 - 1979, 1983 - 1991))

Birthday: November 3, 1933 (Scorpio)

Born In: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Michael Dukakis is an American former politician who served as the 65th and 67th governor of Massachusetts, from 1975 to 1979 and 1983 to 1991, respectively. He is the second Greek–American and the longest-serving governor in the history of the state. Dukakis's first tenure as a governor was marred by his blunders in striking a balance between the ongoing fiscal crisis and tax rates. He was also criticized for his opinion on capital punishment. This led to his defeat in the subsequent re-election. However, Dukakis rebounded in the 1982 gubernatorial primary and presided over the period popularly termed as the "Massachusetts Miracle." He lost his bid for the 1988 presidential election. He also stayed away from campaigning for a re-election for the governor’s position. Dukakis has worked with several academic institutions and universities after the end of his political career. He has also authored a number of books.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Michael Stanley Dukakis

Age: 90 Years, 90 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Kitty Dukakis (m. 1963)

father: Panos Dukakis

mother: Euterpe Dukakis

siblings: Stelian Panos Dukakis

children: Andrea Dukakis, John Dukakis, Kara Dukakis

Born Country: United States

Actors Political Leaders

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males

Ancestry: Greek American

City: Boston

U.S. State: Massachusetts

More Facts

education: Swarthmore College, Harvard Law School

Childhood & Early Life
Michael Stanley Dukakis was born on November 3, 1933, in Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S., to a Greek immigrant father (from Lesbos), Panos (1896–1979), and an Aromanian Greek mother, Euterpe Boukis (1903–2003).
Dukakis was an honor student and played in the basketball, baseball, tennis, and cross-country teams for 'Brookline High School.' At the age of 17, he ran the 'Boston Marathon.' He graduated with a degree in political science from 'Swarthmore College' in 1955.
Dukakis rejected an offer from 'Harvard Law School' and joined the ‘United States Army’ instead.
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Military Service
Michael Dukakis was trained at ‘Fort Dix’ and was later moved to ‘Camp Gordon.’ He worked as a radio operator in an administrative unit when he was deployed in Munsan, South Korea, as part of the ‘United Nations’ delegation of the 'Military Armistice Commission.'
After Dukakis was discharged in 1957, he resumed his education at 'Harvard Law School' and received his Juris Doctor in 1960.
As a member of 'Boy Scouts of America,' Dukakis received the 'Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.'
Political Career
Michael Dukakis became a 'Town Meeting' member in Brookline. He served the Massachusetts House of Representatives four times, between 1962 and 1970.
Dukakis lost his bid for the attorney general of Massachusetts in 1966 and for the lieutenant governor as a ‘Democrat’ in 1970.
He resumed his law practice and became a partner at the law firm 'Hill and Barlow.' He served the firm from 1960 to 1974. Meanwhile, from 1971 to 1973, he also worked as the moderator for the TV network 'The Advocates.'
In November 1974, Dukakis defeated incumbent Francis Sargent in the gubernatorial election. He assumed his duties as the 65th governor of Massachusetts during a period of fiscal crisis. His campaign agenda included balancing the financial crisis but without imposing any new tax. He, however, did not keep his word after assuming office in January 1975.
In his first term, Michael Dukakis relaxed the sentences of 21 first-degree murderers and 23 second-degree murderers. In 1977, he reversed the controversial conviction of Italian anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, who had been accused of murder.
His first term was also marred by his inefficiency in balancing the fiscal crisis. He thus faced criticism for increasing sales and property tax rates. He also failed to cancel the authorities and powers of the 'Metropolitan District Commission' (MDC), which aided political patronage employees. The ‘MDC’ apparently used its influences in the legislature. Dukakis faced the consequences, as the ‘MDC’ declined to support his 1978 gubernatorial primary campaign. The 'Democratic Party,' too, refused to re-nominate the incumbent candidate.
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Dukakis lost the election to Edward King, and his tenure as the 65th governor of Massachusetts ended on January 4, 1979. He then served as a lecturer and director of intergovernmental studies at the 'John F. Kennedy School of Government' of 'Harvard University' until 1982.
Dukakis's first book, 'State and Cities: The Massachusetts Experience,' was published in January 1980.
After he reconciled with the 'Democratic Party' and the ‘MDC,’ Dukakis announced his electoral candidature for the governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and defeated King in the ‘Democratic’ primary. He won the November gubernatorial election, defeating ‘Republican’ opponent John Winthrop Sears.
He assumed his duties as the 67th governor of the state on January 6, 1983. His tenure witnessed a technology boom, which earned him the tag of a ''technocrat.'' In 1986, the 'National Governors Association' named Dukakis the most effective governor.
In June 1986, his second book, 'Revenue Enforcement, Tax Amnesty and the Federal Deficit,' was published.
He defeated George Kariotis in the November 1986 re-election.
In April 1987, Michael Dukakis announced his candidature for the 1988 presidential election. The following year, he named Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) as his running mate.
Along with his economic advisor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, he authored 'Creating the Future: the Massachusetts Comeback and Its Promise for America,' which released in February 1988. The book chronicled his tenure during the period of the economic growth popularly termed as the ''Massachusetts Miracle,'' which helped him promote the presidential campaign.
Unfortunately, the campaign was spoiled by several factors such his mental-health issues and his past treatment for the same, which he had concealed. President Ronald Reagan referred to him as an "invalid." Similarly, his controversial photograph in a military tank and his stand on capital punishment and the pledge of allegiance in schools, too, affected this campaign.
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In July 1988, Michael Dukakis was nominated for the position of the president at the 'Democratic National Convention' in Atlanta. He was named the chairman of the 'New England Governors' Conference' and the 'Democratic Governors' Association.'
In November, he lost the presidential election to George. H. W. Bush. Even though he started well, Dukakis's last two terms as the governor of Massachusetts were mostly unsuccessful due to his abrasive policies to recover the fiscal crisis. His term ended in 1991, and he did not seek a re-election.
Dukakis is currently a “Distinguished Professor” of political science at the 'Northeastern University' in Boston and a visiting professor at the 'Luskin School of Public Affairs' of the ‘UCLA,’ where he has been serving since 1991.
He has been on the board of directors of the 'National Railroad Passenger Corporation' ('Amtrak') and a visiting professor of political science at 'Loyola Marymount University.'
Dukakis is also a founding member of 'The Next Generation Initiative' leadership program and a member of the 'ReFormers Caucus' of 'Issue One.'
He co-authored the book 'How to Get into Politics and Why: A Reader' with Paul Simon. The book released in 2000.
In 2009, Dukakis was announced as a potential candidate to fill a vacant position in the ‘Senate’ after Ted Kennedy's death. He lost the nomination to Paul G. Kirk.
He co-authored 'Leader-Managers in the Public Sector: Managing for Results' with John H. Portz. The book released on July 9, 2010.
In 2012, Dukakis endorsed the ‘Senate’ campaign of Elizabeth Warren.
Awards & Honors
On April 27, 2007, Michael Dukakis received the 'Medal of Honor' in Athens, Greece. In November the following year, the 'Northeastern University' honored him and his wife by naming its 'Center for Urban and Regional Policy' after them.
Personal Life
Michael Dukakis is married to author Katharine D. (Kitty) Dukakis and has three children: John, Andrea, and Kara. They had a fourth child who died soon after birth.
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