Gov. Reubin Askew reflected that the average citizen has the power to change how we live for the better. I first met him in 1979 at the Greenberg Traurig, where he practiced law after leaving office. He worked long hours and expected the same of his colleagues. He had a laser-like focus on policy, with a rare combination of strong advocacy and a genteel temperament. He was demanding, but principled, compassionate and, above all, realistic.
I last saw the governor at a Florida Supreme Court Historical Society dinner in Tallahassee eight years ago. He maintained the energy and seriousness of purpose with an almost unparalleled ability to simplify complex issues of the day and of the future with the sincere warmth and respect that were central to his character. His devotion to his wife, Donna Lou, and his two children was reflective of his character — he just enlarged the members of his “family” to include all Floridians.
He will be sorely missed but always remembered as a good man in a difficult time in our state and country. All of the accolades for the governor following his passing are well deserved.
Paul A. Lester, Miami