Lawton Chiles' Legacy Lives On

12-12-06

Lawton Chiles died on this day in 1998 as he prepared to hand over the reigns of government to Jeb Bush.

Chiles won national acclaim for his battle against the tobacco industry ending with a 13 billion dollar settlement for Florida.

A former press secretary says Chiles' greatest legacy will always be his commitment to children.

"I think still out there is an emphasis on children. It should always be at the top of Florida’s agenda," said Ron Sachs. "I think Governor Bush has embraced a lot of that and I think Governor-elect Crist will also, but I think Gov. Chiles is the one who made it a priority for himself and for all subsequent governors."

Chiles' “Healthy Start” program helped lower infant mortality by 20 percent and it has since been expanded to provide coverage for hundreds of thousands of Florida children.


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