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William Preston Graves

Politician, Governor. Republican. Born: January 9, 1953, Salina, Kansas. Married Linda Richey, 1990. Served as 43rd Governor of Kansas: January 9, 1995, to January 13, 2003.

Bill GravesThe son of William Henry and Helen Maxine (Mayo) William Preston Graves was born January 9, 1953, in Salina, Kansas. He earned a bachelor's degree from Kansas Wesleyan University and attended graduate school at the University of Kansas.

For nearly 70 years the Graves family was involved in the trucking industry and operated fleets including Graves Truck Line. Graves was elected Kansas Secretary of State in 1990.  He defeated Jim Slattery, a Democratic Congressman, in 1994 to become the state's 43rd governor. Graves was reelected four years later with one of the largest margins in Kansas history.

Following his terms as governor, Graves served as president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, the national trade and safety organization of the United States trucking industry. He serves on the board of International Speedway Corporation, a leading promoter of motorsports themed entertainment activities in the U.S.

He married Linda Richey in 1990. They have one daughter, Katherine Preston Graves. He was named the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas 2018 Kansan of the Year.

Entry: Graves, William Preston

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: February 2019

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.