Mike Huckabee | Biography & Facts (2024)

American politician


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Also known as: Michael Dale Huckabee

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Mike Huckabee

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Byname of:
Michael Dale Huckabee
August 24, 1955, Hope, Arkansas, U.S. (age 68)
Title / Office:
governor (1996-2007), Arkansas
Political Affiliation:
Republican Party
Notable Family Members:
married to Janet (McCain) Huckabee (1974–present)
father of John Mark
father of David
father of Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Role In:
United States presidential election of 2008
United States presidential election of 2016

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Mike Huckabee (born August 24, 1955, Hope, Arkansas, U.S.) is an American politician who served as governor of Arkansas (1996–2007) and who ran for the 2008 and 2016 Republican U.S. presidential nomination.

The first male member of his family to finish high school, Huckabee graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1975 and received a master’s degree from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1980. He then became an ordained Baptist minister and spent the next decade as a pastor in various Arkansas churches and as an executive in local media companies. Huckabee’s interest in serving a larger public role was stoked in 1989 when he was elected president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention. He turned to politics in 1992 but lost his bid for the U.S. Senate. The following year Huckabee won a special election to fill Arkansas’s vacant lieutenant governor’s seat after the previous tenant, Jim Guy Tucker, became governor following Bill Clinton’s ascent to the presidency. Tucker’s resignation in 1996 made Huckabee only the third Republican governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction (1865–77). He was reelected to full terms in 1998 and 2002.

As governor, Huckabee instituted wide-scale changes to the state’s health care system, education programs, and environmental policies. Having served his state’s gubernatorial maximum of two consecutive four-year terms, Huckabee’s successful tenure ended in 2007. He gained national attention in 2004 by losing more than 110 pounds after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; he documented his weight loss in his book Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork: A 12-Stop Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle (2005). Huckabee’s other writings included Character Is the Issue: How People with Integrity Can Revolutionize America (1997), Living Beyond Your Lifetime: How to Be Intentional About the Legacy You Leave (2000), From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 Steps to Restoring America’s Greatness (2007), Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That’s Bringing Common Sense Back to America (2008), God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy (2015), and The Three Cs That Made America Great: Christianity, Capitalism, and the Constitution (2020; written with Steve Feazel).

In 2007 Huckabee announced that he was running for president in 2008. His campaign platform emphasized education reform, the repeal of federal income and payroll taxes in favour of a flat national sales tax, and an opposition to abortion rights. Although he was initially seen as a dark horse candidate, his campaign received a boost in January 2008 when he finished first in the Iowa caucuses. As the primary season progressed, Huckabee remained in third place in most national polls. However, wins in a number of Southern states on Super Tuesday in early February drew attention to his ability to influence the ultimate outcome of the race. He ended his bid for the White House after convincing wins by John McCain in a number of early March 2008 primaries made it mathematically impossible for him to gain the nomination.

Huckabee subsequently became a contributor to the Fox News Channel, and his eponymous show debuted on that channel in September 2008. The following year he also began hosting the radio program The Huckabee Report, and he launched another radio show in 2012. Amid growing speculation that he would run for president in 2016, Huckabee began ending his various media ventures, and the final episode of his Fox program aired in January 2015. Four months later he announced his candidacy for president. However, amid a crowded Republican field, he failed to gain much support. After a poor showing in the 2016 Iowa caucuses, Huckabee suspended his campaign. He subsequently supported Donald Trump, who became the Republican nominee and was the eventual presidential winner. Huckabee’s daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, worked on Trump’s campaign and later served as White House press secretary. In 2017 the show Huckabee returned to television, airing on the Christian-based Trinity Broadcast Network.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia BritannicaThis article was most recently revised and updated by Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Mike Huckabee | Biography & Facts (2024)


How did Mike Huckabee make his money? ›

Huckabee has in addition earned personal wealth since 2008 on the lecture circuit and his TV and radio shows. He ended his daily radio show in December 2013, which strengthened speculations about a presidential bid. Huckabee indicated in September 2014 that he would make the decision on whether to run early in 2015.

What did Huckabee do? ›

Huckabee was elected to a full four-year term as governor in 1998 and was reelected in November 2002. He pushed through education reforms in Arkansas that significantly expanded the availability of college scholarships, increased the number of charter schools, and established new approaches to workforce education.

What does Mike Huckabee believe? ›

Huckabee believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, and he opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions. He outlawed gay marriage in Arkansas, but in 2007 he stated that Americans should respect gay couples. He says that adoptions should be child focused and opposes gay adoptions.

How old is the governor of Arkansas? ›

Sarah Elizabeth Huckabee Sanders (born August 13, 1982) is an American politician serving since 2023 as the 47th governor of Arkansas.

Who made Huckabee? ›

Who Made Huckabee?, also known as the Colbert/O'Brien/Stewart feud, refers to a mock rivalry that occurred among late night talk show hosts Stephen Colbert, Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart in early 2008, reportedly over who was responsible for then–presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's success in the presidential ...

Who is the youngest governor in the United States? ›

Alabama governor Kay Ivey (born 1944) is the oldest current governor, and Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (born 1982) is the youngest. As of the 2022 elections, there are 12 female state governors currently serving.

Does Huckabee have a wife? ›

Janet Huckabee (née McCain; born July 16, 1955) is an American politician, the wife of former 2008 and 2016 Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee.

How long is a governor's term in Arkansas? ›

The Arkansas Constitution of 1836 established four-year terms for governors, which was lowered to two years in the 1874, and current, constitution. An amendment in 1984 increased the terms of both governor and lieutenant governor to four years.

What channel is Mike Huckabee on? ›

Huckabee is a television talk show broadcast by TBN, hosted by former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee.

Is Sarah Huckabee Sanders a democratic? ›

Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Republican Party) is the Governor of Arkansas. She assumed office on January 10, 2023.

What are some facts about Arkansas governor? ›

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the 47th Governor of Arkansas. Inaugurated on January 10, 2023, she is the first woman to serve as governor of the state and currently is the youngest governor in the country. Since taking office, Sarah has enacted transformational, conservative reforms.

Who is the youngest serving governor? ›

Bello is the youngest governor in Nigeria, and the only governor born after the Nigerian Civil War. Victory Obasi announced in 2020 that she would fund Bello's run in the 2023 presidential elections. In Abuja on 2 April 2022, Bello declared his interest in running in Nigeria's 2023 presidential elections.

What is the Arkansas bird? ›

The Northern Mockingbird, one of the most popular birds in the South, became the state bird of Arkansas in 1929. This bird is an intriguing one to listen to and it can mimic the music of various birds and even other animals. This bird, which is common to see around neighborhoods, can be found in Arkansas year-round.


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