Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Social Security Stories: Senator Lindsey Graham

For many working families, Social Security provides a much needed safety net against the tragedies of disability and death. Senator Lindsey Graham grew up in a family of modest means in Central, South Carolina.[1] The first member of his family to attend college, he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps marking his entry into national service.

Several years into his studies, Graham’s family faced a double tragedy. “When I was 21, my mom died,” he said. “She was 52.”[2] The following year at age 69, his father passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack.

As a college student, he and his thirteen-years-old sister depended on their recently deceased parents’ Social Security benefits.[3] At the time of her parents’ passing, Graham’s sister Darlene moved in with an aunt and uncle who lived on modest wages from a textile mill.[4] Over the next ten years, Social Security survivor benefits helped feed, clothe, and educate Darlene while Graham completed college and law school. Once his law career got off the ground, Graham became her legal guardian.

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During these tough times, Graham and his sister Darlene, learned how Social Security survivor benefits can help keep a family afloat. On many occasions, Graham has spoken of Social Security’s value, saying it “made a world of difference to my family.”[5]

“I know firsthand that we cannot let the system fail people who need it the most,” he said.[6]

For more Social Security success stories, download Generations United’s publication Social Security: What’s at Stake for Children, Youth and Older Adults.


[1] Meckler, Laura. “Senate newcomer takes lead on Social Security” Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail (Feb. 13, 2005)

[2] Babington, Charles. “Graham Fills Social Security Void With a Plan Bound to Irk All Sides; GOP Senator Is a Surprise Leader On Thorny Issue” Washington Post (April 2, 2005)

[3] Draper, Robert. “Lindsey Graham, This Year’s Maverick” New York Times (July 1, 2010)

[4] Babington, Charles. “Graham Fills Social Security Void With a Plan Bound to Irk All Sides; GOP Senator Is a Surprise Leader On Thorny Issue” Washington Post (April 2, 2005)

[5] Babington, Charles. “Graham Fills Social Security Void With a Plan Bound to Irk All Sides; GOP Senator Is a Surprise Leader On Thorny Issue” Washington Post (April 2, 2005)

[6] Meckler, Laura. “Senate newcomer takes lead on Social Security” Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail (Feb. 13, 2005)

2 comments:

katrina rox said...

Anything not based on economic reality is doomed to failure. Whether it’s farming, mining, tourism or small business, Family First is a truism that capital goes where Family First is made welcome and stays where it gets looked after. And whilst Australia is indeed blessed with abundant natural resources, Australia’s real wealth is not beneath the ground, it is between the ears!

Anonymous said...

thanks for share..