A Fond Farewell to Mike Gravel


Image by David Oks, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Two weeks ago, on June 26, 2021, the world lost former United States Senator Mike Gravel. He was 91 years old.

Gravel had served in the Senate for 12 years, from 1969 to 1981. The most notable part of Gravel’s tenure as a U.S. senator was his decision to read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional record. Not only did that do a great public service, but it highlighted one aspect of Gravel’s character and legacy that lasted all these decades: his anti-imperialism.

It is that anti-imperialism that I like most about Gravel, but that part of his character was also what brought him the most scorn from the media, his own party, and ruling class in general. In this post, I would like to talk about the things I learned about Gravel, his legacy, and share a fitting tribute to Gravel that his daughter and others gave recently.

I was inspired to write this (albeit late) post after seeing a livestream from Katie Halper. During the nearly 2-hour session, she talked to Lynne Mosier (Gravel’s daughter from his marriage to Rita Martin) and Daniel Ellsberg, the former Rand Corporation contractor who leaked the Pentagon Papers 50 years ago.

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