Arkansas Center for Health Improvement

Bios for Governors Mike Huckabee and Mike Beebe

Article Date: 11/27/2018

Gov. Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee is the host of the TV show “Huckabee” on TBN each weekend and is a Fox News contributor, NY Times best-selling author of 12 books, and a frequent speaker for corporate, civic, and non-profit groups all over the world. He was the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007, becoming one of the longest serving Governors in his state’s history. He left a legacy of tax cuts, job creation, the reconstruction of his state’s road system, K-16 education reform, and a nationally heralded and duplicated health initiative that focused on prevention. His administration fought long-standing corruption in the state’s political machine, resulting in numerous indictments and convictions of powerful legislators and other elected officials. He ran in 2008 and 2016 for President, finishing 2nd in the Republican primary in 2008. 

Governing Magazine named him as one of its “Public Officials of the Year” for 2005, and Time Magazine honored him as one of the five best governors in America. He served as the Chairman of the prestigious National Governors Association as well as the Education Commission of the States, the Southern Governors Association, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission. He has been nationally recognized for his advocacy of the arts in education and raises money to provide musical instruments for children.

Huckabee an avid musician since age 11, is a bass player and often joins guest artists on his weekly television show, having played with Willie Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Toby Keith, the late George Jones, and many others. He is co-owner of radio stations in Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri. 
His hobbies include hunting, fishing, and music. He was named one of the “25 Most Influential People” for Conservation by Outdoor Life Magazine, and was named "Man of the Year" by the American Sportfishing Association in 1997. The former governor and his wife, Janet, spend time in Florida and Arkansas and have three grown children – John Mark Huckabee, David Huckabee and his wife, Lauren, and Sarah Sanders and her husband, Bryan – and six grandchildren.


Gov. Mike Beebe

After taking office in 2007, Gov. Mike Beebe worked to make improving education, expanding Arkansas’s economy and cutting taxes his top priorities. Under Beebe’s leadership, Arkansas achieved more than $1.6 billion in tax relief.

Gov. Beebe’s education policies and initiatives garnered nationwide attention, and during his tenure, Arkansas ranked fifth in overall K-12 education. To build a better-trained workforce, Gov. Beebe proceeded to match colleges and universities with local businesses and led changes in the way schools teach math, science, engineering, and technology (STEM subjects).

Arkansas also significantly improved health care during Beebe’s time in office. The Arkansas Health Care Payment Improvement Initiative reined in rising costs by giving doctors financial incentives to provide better care more efficiently. Almost immediately, it was recognized as a potential model for other states. Additionally, Gov. Beebe led the effort to fund Arkansas’s much-needed statewide trauma system. Arkansas’s Trauma Call Center has also established itself as a national trendsetter.

Born in Amagon, Arkansas, Beebe earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arkansas State University in 1968, and completed law school at the University of Arkansas in 1972, while serving in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was named Outstanding Trial Lawyer of Arkansas during his years in private practice in Searcy, where he was president of the White County Bar Association, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Central Arkansas Hospital, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Arkansas State University.

Before being elected Governor for two terms, Beebe spent 20 years as a State Senator and then was elected Attorney General for four years, consistently reaching across party lines to solve problems.  In 2011, Governor Beebe was honored by Governing Magazine as Public Official of the Year. He currently is on the Governors’ Council of the national Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Board of Directors of Tyson Food, Inc., and Centennial Bank. He serves as Of Counsel at Roberts Law Firm, P.A., Arkansas Business Litigation Lawyers.

Gov. Beebe and his wife Ginger have worked together to improve children’s health and literacy throughout the state of Arkansas and have been nationally recognized for their leadership in fighting childhood hunger.

Arkansas Center for Health Improvement
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