South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who announced his presidential bid early this month, published “My Story,” a 126-page account about his life, on Wednesday. The book is free to download from his campaign website.
The senator self-published the book all by himself, but had a little help with the writing from Mark Salter, who had worked with Sen John McCain on various books. The autobiography was funded by his campaign.
Sen. Graham explained that maybe the public expected an exhaustive story about his life, but his latest book is nothing of the sort. Instead it is an “impressionistic” approach on the events that had shaped his personality.
The book is mostly about the economic struggles of his family, segregation issues and emotional hardships in his early age. The story begins with the bar his parents owned in South Carolina and the way black people were discriminated until the early seventies.
The Senator’s parents are described as modest, but hardworking people who never went on vacations they had to keep the family business running. In their bar, Graham learned much about life.
The Senator recalls that his parents gave him the confidence he now abounds in, but they also left him with a bitter memory when both died within 15 months, and he had to care for his younger sibling Darline.
He also tells how his mother became ill with cancer and he had to learn really well during college to earn a class ring and show it to her.
“She knew by then she wouldn’t see me graduate. The ring was a promise that I would, that I would be okay, that I would make something of myself,”
the presidential hopeful writes in his book.
He also recalls how he had to rush his mother’s funeral in order not to depress his little sister who was about to turn 12 days later. After 15 months, his father died too.
That was the beginning of his financial struggles as a college student that had also his sister to take care of and a modest social security check to help him going. He recounts that as a law school student he had to take a part-time job in a liquor store to be able to look after his sister.
He also provides details on his military career which nears its end due to retirement (Graham turns 60 this July), “two serious relationships” while he was serving in Europe, and the criminal cases he had to deal with as an attorney.
The senator acknowledges that the U.S. Air Force has shaped his character, developed his talent and allowed him to serve his country. But joining politics was a lifelong goal since he has been dreaming of becoming a politician “since childhood.”
Image Source: The Daily Banter