Mike Gravel Background
Columbia University, B.S., 1956
Formally announced candidacy on April 17, 2006On March 26, 2008, Gravel announced his intention to join the Libertarian party and seek the Libertarian presidential nomination.
U. S. Senator from Alaska, 1969-1981
Speaker of Alaska House of Representatives, 1965-1966
Alaska State Representative, 1963-1966
Founder, The Democracy Foundation, 2001
Real estate developer in Alaska, 1980s
U.S. Army, 1951-1954
Spouse: Whitney Steward Gravel
Children: Martin Gravel and Lynne Gravel Mosier
April 27, 2007
A Long Shot Who Made Short Shrift of His Rivals
The New York Times
July 8, 2007
Riding the Web: Former Alaskan Hopes Technology Will Carry Him to Presidential Victory
Gravel Religious Biography
In His Own Words
"I believe that faith – whatever denomination we choose – should improve us morally and ethically, and encourage our kindness and compassion for all people. It should not be a tool to condemn others, and should not politicize the beliefs of others."
(Announcement of presidential candidacy, April 2006.)
Mike Gravel grew up as a Roman Catholic in a largely Jewish neighborhood of Springfield, Mass. As a youth, he attended French-speaking Catholic schools. As an adult, he became a Unitarian. He describes the Unitarian tradition as one that "accepts many paths to spiritual experience."
As a U.S. Senator from Alaska, Gravel relied on the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) publishing arm, Beacon Press, to publish "The Senator Gravel Edition" of The Pentagon Papers in 1971. The book, which made him a nationally recognized and controversial figure at the time, disclosed top secret Department of Defense studies that shed light on three decades of American involvement in Vietnam. At the book's launch, Gravel held a press conference alongside then-UUA president, the Rev. Robert N. West.
As a presidential candidate, Gravel has championed gay and lesbian rights, especially the right to marry; the UUA also firmly believes in that cause.
Though he disagrees with the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality, Gravel has not entirely turned his back on Catholic moral reasoning. In a 2001 examination of the Vietnam War's moral legacy, for example, he invoked "just war" principles from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to argue that the war had been immoral.
If elected president, Gravel would be the fifth Unitarian to occupy the White House.
Nov. 7, 2007
Religious Groups' Presidential Candidate Preferences
A new analysis of recent surveys show Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani as the preferred candidates among key religious groups. Giuliani, though, garners considerably less support from white evangelical Protestants than he does from white mainline Protestants and white Catholics.
Read the report
Sept. 6, 2007
Clinton and Giuliani Seen as Not Highly Religious; Romney's Religion Raises Concerns
A September survey finds that religion is not proving to be a clear-cut positive in the 2008 presidential campaign. The candidates viewed by voters as the least religious among the leading contenders are front-runners Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, while voters still express concern about Mitt Romney's Mormon faith. Read more about the 2008 election and religion.
Read the report
June 18, 2007
Analysis of Candidates' Potential Support among Religious Groups
A survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press examines potential support for the Democratic presidential candidates among Democratic and Democratic-leaning members of two religious groups: white Catholics and white mainline Protestants.