Skip to main content

Reubin Askew Papers

Identifier: MSS 2008-010

Scope and Contents

The collection was given by Reubin O'Donovan Askew in 2008. It contains materials related to his time serving in the Florida House of Representatives, Florida State Senate, and as Governor of Florida.  Included in the collection are campaign files, correspondence, newspaper articles, photographs, audiovisual materials, memorabilia, and copies of speeches. Additionally, there are records documenting his 1988 Presidential bid, as well as other materials relating to his life after his service as a Florida public official. Also included in the collection are the personal papers of his wife, Donna Lou Harper Askew.


  • Created: 1937-2006
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1969-1989


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to all researchers. Users may access this collection at the Claude Pepper Library.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Reubin O'Donovan Askew, 37th Governor of Florida, was born on September 11, 1928, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. In 1937, he and his mother moved to Pensacola, where Reubin graduated from Pensacola High School in 1946.  Later in 1946, he entered the United States Army as a paratrooper and later was discharged as a Sergeant. Askew then attended college at Florida State University before joining the United States Air Force from 1951.

Askew's public official career began when he served as Assistant County Solicitor for Escambia County from 1956-1958. In 1958, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives and to the State Senate in 1962. During his time in the State Senate, he served as President Pro Tempore from 1969-1970.  Mr. Askew was elected Governor in 1970 and again in 1974, making him the first Governor to be elected for a second, consecutive 4-yr term.

After retiring as Governor in early 1979, Askew joined the Miami law firm of Greenberg, Traurig, Askew, Hoffman, Lipoff, Rosen and Quentell. In October of 1979, he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary as a United States Trade Representative. In 1984, Askew became the first Floridian to run for President of the United States, and in 1987 he announced his candidacy for United States Senate.

Askew has received numerous honors and awards, including: Outstanding Military Student of the Year, AFROTC, Florida State University (1950); Freshman Class President, University of Florida College of Law (1953); Executive Editor, University of Florida Law Review (1955); Young Man of the Year Award and one of the Five Outstanding Young Men in Florida, Pensacola Jaycees (1960); Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Florida (1972); Humanitarian of the Year Award, Florida Commission on Human Relations (1977); Medal of Honor, Florida Bar Foundation (1979), and in 1994 Florida State University renamed its School of Public Administration, "The Reubin O'D. Askew School of Public Administration of Policy."

Askew received a B.S. in Public Administration from Florida State University in 1951, where he also served as student body president and president of the University Government Association, FSU's student government agency. From 1951-1952 he received his Masters in ? in Public Administration from the University of Denver and Florida State University. In 1956, he received his LLB  from the University of Florida. Moreover, Askew holds 15 Honorary Degrees from multiple institutions.

As of 2009, he and his wife, Donna Lou Askew, live in Tallahassee, Florida, where Mr. Askew serves as the Professor and Eminent Scholar Chair in Florida Government and Politics.


16.68 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Claude Pepper Library

Method of Acquisition

Materials given by Reubin Askew in 2008

Existence and Location of Originals

Portions of collection available online?: No

Reubin Askew Papers
Robert Rubero
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US