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Title:Michael S. Dukakis Presidential Campaign records
Dates:1962-1989 (bulk 1987-1988)
Call Number:M32

Historical Note

Michael Stanley Dukakis was born of Greek immigrant parents on November 3, 1933 in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he has resided ever since. He graduated from Brookline High School (1951), Swarthmore College (1955), and Harvard Law School (1960). Dukakis married Katherine Dickson, known as Kitty, in 1963. They have three children, John (b. 1958), Andrea (b. 1965), and Kara (b. 1968). He served for eight years in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1962-1970) before he lost a bid for lieutenant governor in 1970. He was elected Governor of Massachusetts in 1974, but lost re-election in the Democratic Primary of 1978 to Edward King. Dukakis defeated King in 1982 and was re-elected to an unprecedented third four-year term in 1986. A year after being voted the nation's most effective governor by his peers, Dukakis decided to run for president. He won the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1988 but was defeated by incumbent Vice-President George H.W. Bush. Dukakis served his final two years as governor and went on to teach at the university level for several years.

In 1912 sixteen year old Panos Dukakis settled in Lowell, Massachusetts from Evrimiti, Asia Minor knowing very little English. Eight years later he entered Harvard Medical School, graduated in 1924, and ran a private obstetrics practice for most of his life. Euterpe Boukis was born in Larissa, in the Thessaly region of Northern Greece on September 4, 1903. She went to school there until she was nine when she, her parents, and four sisters immigrated to Haverhill, Massachusetts. She attended public school in Haverhill through high school and was encouraged to go on to college. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Bates College in 1925 and taught school at Amesbury Junior High School. On September 4, 1929 Panos and Euterpe were married and had two sons, Stelian (1930-1973) and Michael Stanley.

Michael Dukakis attended Brookline High School from 1947 to 1951 where he was a three letter athlete (in cross country, basketball, and tennis), President of the Student Council, and a trumpet player in the Brookline High School Band. The year Dukakis graduated (1951), he finished 57th in the Boston Marathon. He then enrolled at Swarthmore College in 1951 and majored in political science. During the summer of 1954, he received a fellowship to study at the University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru. He has since been fluent in Spanish, Greek, and English. Dukakis graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore with highest honors in 1955. He served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to1957 and was stationed at Munsan, South Korea for sixteen months with the 8020 AU, the Support Group to the U.N. Command delegation to the Military Armistice Commission in South Korea. After serving for two years, Dukakis entered Harvard Law School and earned his degree in 1960, cum laude. He then began a fourteen-year career as an attorney with the Boston firm of Hill & Barlow.

Michael Dukakis married Katherine Dickson, known as Kitty, in 1963. She is a native of Brookline and the daughter of Jane and Harry Ellis Dickson, former associate conductor of the Boston Pops. Kitty Dukakis is a political activist who has taken interest in the homeless, refugee resettlement programs, and adult literacy. She has also taught and studied modern dance.

In 1959, while still a student at Harvard Law School, Dukakis won election as a Town Meeting Member in Brookline. The following year he headed a slate that was elected to the Brookline Democratic Town Committee and served as the Committee's Chairman from 1960 to 1962. He was a delegate to three Democratic State Conventions and was an Alternate Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1968.

Dukakis was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives from Brookline in 1962. He served in the House for eight years, sponsoring many consumer, housing, and environmental measures. He was an early leader in the drive to stop highway construction in metropolitan Boston and divert the funds to mass transit. In 1967 his colleagues in the legislature voted him the year's Outstanding Legislator, and in 1968 he won more votes than any candidate in the history of his district. His most notable legislative victory was the four-year battle for no-fault automobile insurance. Dukakis was the first legislator in the nation to introduce a no-fault bill when he urged its adoption in the fall of 1966. The bill passed in 1970.

That same year Dukakis was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, running on a ticket headed by Boston Mayor Kevin White. After winning the Democratic primary, the White-Dukakis ticket was defeated in November 1970 by Republican incumbent Francis W. Sargent. Dukakis returned to his career as a practicing attorney at Hill & Barlow and was also moderator of "The Advocates," the nationwide public affairs debate program on public television from 1971 to 1973. After the 1970 election, Dukakis established a consumer-oriented research group and assigned teams of young volunteers to scrutinize various state agencies.

Dukakis declared his candidacy for Governor in October 1973. A year later he and running mate Thomas P. O'Neill III soundly defeated incumbents Francis W. Sargent and Donald Dwight. Dukakis was inaugurated as the 65th Governor of the Commonwealth on January 2, 1975. At the time, the state unemployment rate was nearly 12 percent (second highest in the country), and the Commonwealth faced a deficit of over half a billion dollars. Under Dukakis, Massachusetts unemployment dropped to 4.3 percent by October 1978, 250,000 new jobs were added to the state's economy, and he left the Massachusetts state government in 1979 with a budget surplus of $200 million.

In the September 1978 Democratic gubernatorial primary election Dukakis was defeated by Edward J. King, who was subsequently elected Governor. Upon leaving office, Dukakis was appointed lecturer, Director of Intergovernmental Studies, and Chairman of the program for senior executives in state and local government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Dukakis ran for Governor again in 1982 and defeated incumbent Edward J. King in the Democratic primary. He was again inaugurated Governor of Massachusetts on January 6, 1983. His second term was highlighted by innovative programs such as the Employment and Training Choices program (ET) and the Governor's Alliance Against Drugs. ET helped more than 30,000 welfare recipients find jobs with more than 8,000 of the state's businesses, saving taxpayers an estimated $107 million in 1986 alone. The Governor's Alliance Against Drugs was a state-wide effort involving public and private leaders to increase drug and alcohol awareness in Massachusetts schools. In 1984 Dukakis presented the platform to the Democratic Convention in San Francisco, and in August 1986 he was elected Chairman of the Democratic Governors' Association. Dukakis was elected the nation's most effective Governor by his peers in 1986.

Dukakis took advantage of an economic boom, dubbed the "Massachusetts Miracle," and was re-elected to an unprecedented third four-year term in 1986. During his third term as Governor, Dukakis decided to run for President. Announcing his candidacy in April 1987, he won the Democratic nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta on July 21, 1988. Dukakis faced Republican nominee Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush in one of the most negative campaigns to date. Bush assailed Dukakis on his gubernatorial record for many things, including furloughing a convicted felon who then repeated his crime and the cleanliness of Boston Harbor. During the election campaign, Dukakis and his running mate, Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen, failed to find issues that attracted voters and to attack effectively the Republicans' record under President Ronald Reagan. Bush swept 40 of 50 states and won the election, becoming the first sitting vice president to be elected in more than 150 years. Bush, and his running-mate Dan Quayle, took 426 electoral votes.

Soon after his defeat in the presidential election, Dukakis announced that he would not be a candidate for re-election as governor and served his final two years at a time of increasing financial and economic distress in Massachusetts. After leaving office in January 1991, Dukakis and his wife, Kitty, spent five weeks in Australia as guests of the city of Melbourne and three months at the University of Hawaii where Dukakis was a visiting professor in the Political Science Department and at the School of Public Health. Since June of 1991, he has been a Visiting Professor in Northeastern University's Political Science Department during the Fall and Visiting Professor of Public Policy (each Winter Quarter) at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also taught in the senior executive program for state and local managers at the Kennedy School of Government and at Florida Atlantic University. On May 21, 1998, Dukakis was nominated by President Clinton for a five-year term as a member of the new Board of Directors of Amtrak, The National Railroad Passenger Corporation and served as Vice-Chairman on the Amtrak Board.
March 16, 1987Dukakis gives "Marathon Speech" in Boston hinting at his entrance in the presidential campaign.
September 30, 1987Campaign manager John Sasso resigns after leaking information to the press causing Senator Joe Biden to drop out of the campaign.
February 16, 1988New Hampshire Primary.
July 25, 1988Dukakis wins the Democratic Nomination in Atlanta and chooses Senator Lloyd Bentsen as his running-mate.
August 18, 1988George H.W. Bush wins the Republican Nomination in New Orleans, chooses Sen. J. Danforth Quayle as his running-mate.
September 25, 1988Dukakis/Bush debate at Wake Forest University.
October 5, 1988Bentsen/Quayle debate in Omaha, Nebraska.
October 13, 1988Dukakis/Bush debate in Los Angeles.
November 8, 1988GHWB is elected the 41st President of the United States.

"Biography" and "Family Background". M32, Box 4, Folder 221-222, and Box 1, Folder 50.