NELSON, Clarence William (Bill) (1942-)
Senate Years of Service: 2001-2019

NELSON, CLARENCE WILLIAM (BILL), A Senator and a Representative from Florida; born in Miami, Dade County, Fla., September 29, 1942; attended the Brevard County public schools; graduated from Melbourne High School 1960; B.A., Yale University 1965; J.D., University of Virginia School of Law 1968; admitted to the Florida bar in 1968 and commenced practice in Melbourne in 1970; served in United States Army Reserve 1965-1971; United States Army, active duty, 1968-1970, achieving rank of captain; legislative assistant to Governor Reubin Askew 1971; elected to Florida State house of representatives in 1972 and reelected in 1974 and 1976; elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-sixth and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1979-January 3, 1991); was not a candidate for reelection in 1990 to the House of Representatives, but was a candidate for nomination for governor of Florida; crewmember on the twenty-fourth flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia, January 12-18, 1986; Florida treasurer and insurance commissioner 1995-2000; elected to the United States Senate in 2000; reelected in 2006 and again in 2012, and served from January 3, 2001, to January 3, 2019; was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the Senate in 2018; chair, Special Committee on Aging (One Hundred Thirteenth Congress); NASA Administrator, 2021-.

University of Florida
George A. Smathers Libraries
Gainesville, FL
Papers: Senatorial papers.

  • Nelson, Bill, and Jamie Buckingham. Mission: An American Congressman's Voyage to Space. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988.