Connie Mack, U.S. Senator

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Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy, III

Also Known As: "Connie Mack"
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Connie Mack, Jr. and Susan McGillicuddy
Husband of Private
Father of Connie Mack IV, U.S. Congress

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Connie Mack, U.S. Senator

Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy III (born October 29, 1940), popularly known as Connie Mack, is a former Republican politician. He served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Florida from 1983 to 1989 and then as a Senator from 1989 to 2001. He served as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, 19972001. He was considered by Bob Dole and George W. Bush to be the Vice-Presidential nominee on the GOP ticket in 1996 and 2000, though Jack Kemp and Dick Cheney were chosen instead.

Early life, education, and family

Mack was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1940, the son of Susan (née Sheppard) and Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy, Jr. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966. He is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and Florida Blue Key.

He is the grandson of Connie Mack (1862–1956), former owner and manager of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mack's maternal grandfather was Morris Sheppard, U.S. Senator and Representative from Texas, and later his maternal step-grandfather was Tom Connally, the other U.S. Senator from Texas (Sheppard's widow married Connally the year after Sheppard died). Mack's maternal great-grandfather was John Levi Sheppard who was also a U.S. Representative from Texas. His son, Connie Mack IV, a former Florida State Representative, was elected to his father's old U.S. House seat in 2004 and is married to U.S. congresswoman Mary Bono Mack of California, the widow of Sonny Bono, another U.S. Congressman from California.

U.S. House of Representatives


U.S. House elections

After redistricting, incumbent Democrat U.S. Congressman William Lehman's district was renumbered from the 13th to the 17th. For the open seat in the 13th district, Mack qualified for a run-off election in October against State Representative Ted Ewing 58% to 42%. In the November general election, he won with 65% of the vote. In 1984, he won re-election with unopposed and in 1986 won with 75% of the vote.

1988 U.S. Senate election

Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Lawton Chiles decided to retire. After three terms in the U.S. House, Mack decided to retire and run for the U.S. Senate. He won the primary with 62% of the vote against Robert Merkle. In the general election, he defeated Democrat U.S. Congressman Buddy Mackay with just 50% of the vote.

1994 U.S. Senate election

In the general election, he defeated Democrat attorney Hugh Rodham (brother of Hillary Rodham Clinton) 71% to 29%. He won every county in the state.


During his congressional career, U.S. Senator Mack played a key role in the passage of laws dealing with health care, financial modernization, modification of the tax code and public housing reform. A cancer survivor, Senator Mack has also been a strong advocate for cancer research, early detection and treatment. Senator Mack led a historic bipartisan congressional effort to double funding for biomedical research through the National Institutes of Health and worked tirelessly to secure the necessary appropriations. He also secured Medicare coverage for clinical trials, and was a leading Republican advocate of the Women's Health Initiative and efforts to strengthen and reform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards over the years, including the 1999 National Coalition for Cancer Research Lifetime Achievement Award, American Cancer Society’s 1992 Courage Award and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s Betty Ford Award.

Mack helped define the framework of landmark legislation to allow the financial industry to respond appropriately to the increasing demands of an aggressive global marketplace. He has a long history of fighting for debt-deficit reduction. He co-authored and introduced into the House the landmark Gramm-Rudman deficit reduction law. Mack was also instrumental in passage of the landmark Everglades Restoration Act, which was signed into law on December 11, 2000.

He decided to retire in 2000 and not run for re-election to a third term. Democrat U.S. Congressman Bill Nelson won the open seat. Mack's son, U.S. Congressman Connie Mack IV, is running against Nelson in the United States Senate election in Florida, 2012.

Post-congressional career

In 2005, Connie Mack III was appointed by President George W. Bush as Chairman of the President's Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform. That same year, he was featured in Castles In The Sun, a documentary about the development of Cape Coral. Mack's father, Connie Mack, Jr., had worked as a public relations man for Leonard and Jack Rosen, the brothers who built Cape Coral from a wasteland into a waterfront wonderland. Connie Mack III went to work for the company (Gulf American Corporation) as a teenager.

In 2005, the producer interviewed Connie Mack III at his Palm Island home in Florida. Mack talked about his father and grandfather; and the influence they and the land developers had on his life.[8]

Since early 2007, Connie Mack, III has served as the Senior Policy Advisor to Liberty Partners of Tallahassee - a Florida-based lobbying firm ( In that role, Mack has helped shape the firm's reputation as highly-regarded, client-focused firm representing issues ranging from business development, regulated industries and taxation to health care and cancer-related interests.

On April 15, 2010, Mack resigned as campaign chairman for Charlie Crist's race for the US Senate.

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Connie Mack, U.S. Senator's Timeline

October 29, 1940
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, United States
August 12, 1967
Age 26
Fort Myers, Florida, United States