AP/Florida Times-Union, file
May 13, 2004
Former Florida Senate President Lew Brantley died on Tuesday, May 11, 2004, of lung cancer at his home in Jacksonville. He was 66. He was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1965 at age 26 and served two terms before being elected to the Senate in 1970. He was Senate president in 1976-78. Brantley was instrumental in getting Florida's first public employees' collective bargaining bill passed, recalled John Keane, executive director of the Police and Fire Pension Board in Jacksonville. Brantley resigned from the Senate to run for mayor of Jacksonville in 1979, but lost. He turned his energies to his business, his church and charity work as a Shriner. He served as board chairman of Shriners Hospitals for Children in 1997 and 1998.