Michael Dukakis was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on November 3, 1933. He is a retired American politician who served as the 65th Governor of Massachusetts, from 1975 to 1979 and again from 1983 to 1991. He is the longest-serving governor in Massachusetts history and only the second Greek-American governor in U.S. history, after Spiro Agnew. He was nominated by the Democratic Party for president in the 1988 election, losing to the Republican candidate, Vice President George H. W. Bush.
Dukakis attended Swarthmore College before enlisting in the United States Army. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he won election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, serving from 1963 to 1971. He won the 1974 Massachusetts gubernatorial election but lost his 1978 bid for re-nomination to Edward J. King. He defeated King in the 1982 gubernatorial primary and served as governor from 1983 to 1991, presiding over a period of economic growth known as the “Massachusetts Miracle”.
Building on his popularity as governor, Dukakis sought the Democratic presidential nomination for the 1988 presidential election. He prevailed in the Democratic primaries and was formally nominated at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Dukakis chose Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas as his running mate, while the Republicans nominated a ticket consisting of George H. W. Bush and Senator Dan Quayle. Dukakis lost the election, carrying only ten states and Washington, D.C., but he improved on the Democratic performance in the previous two elections. After the election, Dukakis announced that he would not seek another term as governor, and he left office in 1991.
“Our greatest strength comes not from what we possess,
but from what we believe; not from what we have,
but from who we are.”
Since leaving office, Dukakis has served on the board of directors for Amtrak and has taught political science at Northeastern University and UCLA. He was mentioned as a potential appointee to the Senate in 2009 to fill the vacancy caused by Ted Kennedy’s death, but Governor Deval Patrick chose Paul G. Kirk. In 2012, Dukakis backed the successful Senate campaign of Elizabeth Warren.
Dukakis is the cousin of actress Olympia Dukakis.