Mike Huckabee | Rotten Tomatoes (2024)

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Birthday: Aug 24, 1955

Birthplace: Hope, Arkansas, USA

A young, deeply religious boy from Arkansas and the first member of his family to earn a high school diploma, Michael Huckabee would grow up to become a minister, musician, television host and governor. Huckabee was born in Hope, Ark., on Aug. 24, 1955, to a working-class family. His father worked two jobs, as a firefighter and a mechanic. He learned how to play guitar at age 11, and at 14, he got his first job, reporting the news and weather at a radio station. Having grown up in a Baptist church, he combined his speech skills with his passion for ministry and delivered his first sermon at 16. He became interested in politics as a result of the chaotic period he grew up in, which included the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the public outcry over the Vietnam War. While attending Ouachita Baptist University, he married his high school sweetheart, Janet McCain. Together they would have three children: sons John Mark and David, and daughter Sarah. He graduated magna cum laude in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in religion and started working toward a postgraduate degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, but dropped out to pursue an opportunity to work for James Robison, a televangelist and co-founder of the LIFE Outreach ministry. Huckabee became pastor of two churches: Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Ark., from 1980-86, and Beech Street First Baptist Church in Texarkana from 1986-92. He produced local television programming during his time in both cities. After serving as president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention in 1989, he officially entered politics in a 1992 race for one of Arkansas' Senate seats. He lost in a harsh defeat, but a new opportunity arose when then-Gov. Bill Clinton won the presidential election, elevating Lt. Gov. Jim Guy Tucker to fill the vacancy. Huckabee quickly regrouped and ran in the special election to choose the next lieutenant governor, and this time he was victorious. In 1996, Tucker was convicted of fraud and was forced to resign, making Huckabee governor of Arkansas. Shortly afterward, he formed a classic rock cover band, Capitol Offense, acting as frontman and bassist. Over the following decades, the group would perform at political balls and open for major acts that included REO Speedwagon and The Charlie Daniels Band. Huckabee served the rest of Tucker's term and won re-election twice. Throughout his tenure as governor, he relied on his religious and working-class background to guide his policies. He signed sweeping legislation on health care and education. During a budget shortfall in 2001, feeling pressure to raise state taxes, Huckabee proposed the "Tax Me More Fund," a program allowing residents to voluntarily pay additional taxes, as an alternative to raising taxes across the board. He advocated for greater equality and opportunities for Arkansas' Hispanic residents. He was lauded for leading his state's response to the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, as thousands of evacuees sought refuge in Arkansas' public parks and shelters. He stepped down from the governorship in 2007, as state law limited governors to two full terms. After an unsuccessful bid to become the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, he became a political commentator. He hosted the talk show "Huckabee" (Fox News, 2008-2015) and two talk radio programs. He kicked off a second presidential campaign in 2015, but suspended it after faring poorly in the 2016 Iowa caucus.


The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Mike Huckabee (L), Jay Leno (R), 'Season', ©NBC The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Mike Huckabee (L), Craig Ferguson (R), ©CBS The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Mike Huckabee (L), Bryan Branly (R), 'Season', ©NBC The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Mike Huckabee, 'Season', ©NBC The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Mike Huckabee (L), Kevin Eubanks (R), 'Season', ©NBC CHONDA PIERCE: UNASHAMED, MIKE HUCKABEE, 2019. © FATHOM EVENTS

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Mike Huckabee | Rotten Tomatoes (2024)


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