About Connie Mack III
Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy III, popularly known as Connie Mack, was a Republican politician who served three terms in the U.S. House (1983-1988) and two terms in the U.S. Senate (1989-2001) before announcing his retirement in 2000.
Connie Mack was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 29, 1940. He came from a long line of American politicians on his mother’s side including his grandfather Morris Sheppard (U.S. Senator and Representative from Texas), step-grandfather Tom Connally (U.S. Senator from Texas), and great-grandfather John Levi Sheppard (U.S. Representative from Texas). His paternal grandfather was Connie Mack (1862-1956), former owner and manager of baseball’s Philadelphia Athletics and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Connie Mack graduated from the University of Florida in 1966 with a degree in Marketing from the School of Business. While attending the university, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Florida Blue Key. Following his graduation, he served as a community banker and President of the Florida National Bank of Lee County. He married Priscilla Hobbs in 1960 and together they raised two children. His son, Connie Mack IV, was later elected to the Florida State Legislature and served as a Representative in the U.S. House (2005-2013).
Mack made his first run for public office in 1982 when he won the seat of the newly created 13th District (centered around Fort Myers). He would go on to win two more terms in 1984 and 1986. After Democratic Senator Lawton Chiles’ retirement, Connie Mack ran for his seat in 1988, narrowly defeating Democratic Congressman Buddy Mackay. In 1994, he defeated Democratic candidate Hugh Rodham (brother of Hillary Clinton) to become the first Republican Senator in Florida history to be elected to a second term. Declining to run for a third term, he announced his retirement in 2000. In 2005, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the President’s Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform.
Throughout his service in both the House and Senate, Connie Mack supported the passage of legislation related to health care, financial modernization, modification of the tax code, and public housing reform. A cancer survivor, Senator Mack was a strong advocate for cancer research, early detection, and treatment. He co-founded the Senate Cancer Coalition, served as vice-chairman of the national American Cancer Society Foundation receiving the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award (1992) and the National Coalition for Cancer Research’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1999). He served as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and the Senate Republican Conference. Mack also worked to reduce government debt, co-authoring the Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law and was instrumental in the passage of the Everglades Restoration Act.
This digital collection includes selected materials from the Connie Mack III Politcal Papers at the University of Florida.
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