(54.) MICHAEL STANLEY DUKAKIS (1933- )
Democrat Dukakis/Lloyd Bentsen
Defeated by Republican George H. W. Bush/Dan Quayle, 1988
Michael Dukakis, the son of Greek immigrant parents, was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Swarthmore College and served in the U. S. Army from 1955-1957. He earned a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1960.
His political career started in 1962 when he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and was elected governor in 1974. Dukakis established a reputation as an effective manager and problem solver. An estimated $500 million deficit in the state budget was eliminated under his governorship. He offered incentives to businesses that participated with the state government on such social programs as job training for welfare recipients. He also increased state tax revenues through stricter, more aggressive collection of taxes.
In 1980, Massachusetts was encountering severe financial difficulties with a sluggish economy and a decline in tax revenues. Dukakis was criticized for his handling of state finances. He announced in 1989 that he would not seek reelection as governor.