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|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 9th district
January 3, 1983 - January 3, 2007
|New Constituency (Redistricting)|
|Born||July 16, 1930|
Tarpon Springs, Florida
|Residence||Tarpon Springs, Florida|
|Education||University of Pittsburgh (BSE)|
University of Florida (JD)
Michael Bilirakis (born July 16, 1930) is an American politician and lawyer from Florida. He was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1983 until 2007, representing the 9th District of Florida.
Bilirakis was born in Tarpon Springs, Florida but spent his childhood in Clairton, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh where he was a member of Sigma Pi fraternity. He also attended George Washington University for a time. He earned a law degree from the University of Florida. Bilirakis served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.
Bilirakis made his first run for office in 1982, contesting the newly created 9th District. He defeated State Representative George Sheldon by 4,300 votes. He was reelected with 78 percent of the vote in 1984 and was reelected 10 more times, never facing serious opposition. He ran unopposed in 1988, 1994, 1998 and 2004.
His committee assignments include membership on the Energy and Commerce Committee as well as being vice chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee. He played a key role in enactment of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act and re-authorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act. He was the lead congressional sponsor of The Nurse Reinvestment Act of 2002 and authored the Organ Donation Improvement Act. National Journal's Almanac of American Politics called him one of the most "legislatively productive" members of Congress.
Bilirakis retired in 2006. His son, Gus, a Florida state representative, defeated Democrat Phyllis Busansky in the 2006 congressional race for the elder Bilirakis's House seat. In August 2009, Bilirakis was shortlisted by Governor Crist as a potential replacement for Mel Martínez after his resignation from the U.S. Senate. Crist ultimately appointed George LeMieux.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Representative of the 9th Congressional District of Florida