by John Hughes | April 17th, 2014 11:27 am | No Comments
John Hughes (left) interviews former State Auditor Bob Graham at home in March. (Photo courtesy of Laura Mott.)
Robert V. Graham, elected seven times as Washington state auditor, died at his Olympia home on April 16, four days past his 93rd birthday.
John Hughes, chief historian for the Secretary of State’s Legacy Project, completed an oral history and profile of Graham just two weeks ago.
“His mind was nimble until almost the end,” Hughes says. “During World War II, Bob was a flight engineer with the Army Air Transport Service, carrying cargo into the South Pacific. His oral history is part of a series we’re doing leading up to the 70th anniversary in 2015 of the war’s end. His passing underscores the urgency of capturing these ‘Greatest Generation’ stories before it’s too late.”
Graham was first elected state auditor in 1964, succeeding his mentor Cliff Yelle. Under Graham the Auditor’s Office underwent rapid modernization. He fought off an effort to privatize municipal audits, focused on preventing and detecting fraud and instituted comprehensive training programs for his staff. A Democrat, Graham long maintained that the office of auditor should be nonpartisan. He retired in 1993.
Graham grew up in a dairy farm and logging family at Copalis Crossing, continue reading