Mike GravelMaurice Robert "Mike" Gravel (; born May 13, 1930) is an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Alaska from 1969 to 1981 as a member of the Democratic Party and who twice ran for presidential nomination of that party.
Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, by French-Canadian immigrant parents, Gravel moved to Alaska in the late 1950s, becoming a real estate developer and entering politics. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963 to 1967 and also became Speaker of the Alaska House. Gravel was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1968.
As a senator, Gravel became nationally known for his forceful but unsuccessful attempts to end the draft during the War in Vietnam and for putting the ''Pentagon Papers'' into the public record in 1971 at some risk to himself. He conducted a campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1972 for Vice President of the United States, and then played a crucial role in obtaining Congressional approval for the Trans-Alaska pipeline in 1973. He was reelected to the Senate in 1974, but his bid for a third term was defeated in a primary election in 1980.
An advocate of direct democracy and the National Initiative, Gravel staged a run for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. His campaign failed to gain support, and in March 2008 he left the Democratic Party and joined the Libertarian Party to compete unsuccessfully for its presidential nomination and the inclusion of the National Initiative into the Libertarian Platform. He ran for president as a Democrat again in the 2020 election in a campaign that ended four months after it began. Provided by Wikipedia