Former Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s father dead at 69

Jacksonville, Fla. — Tonight, the Gillum Family announced the passing of Mr. Charles “Sonny” Gillum in Jacksonville. Born June 4, 1949, he was 69 years old.

More information, including funeral arrangements, will be announced in the coming days.

Inquiries to the Gillum Family may be referred to Sharon Lettman-Hicks at

Andrew Gillum, former Mayor of Tallahassee and 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee, shared the following thoughts about his father’s death:

“’The son of a school bus driver and a construction worker.’

“How many times have I said those words over the last two years?

“Today the life of that construction worker — my dad, Charles “Sonny” Gillum — came to a close. My father was among the best of men. Not because he was perfect, but because he was real.

“He got up every day to lay bricks and earn an honest living for his family. If it wasn’t construction work, you would find my dad selling fruits and vegetables on the street corner. My father never met a stranger. As a child, I would hate to run errands with him because he couldn’t make it a few feet without striking up a conversation with anyone who looked ever slightly in his direction. At my college graduation, the family joke was that dad got so impatient with the length of the program, he made his way practically around Bragg Stadium talking to whomever would lend an ear. His phrase — while rubbing his hands together — was, ‘So many people, so little time!’

“I will miss my dad terribly. But I know that he is in a better place. He signed off every phone call with me saying, ‘Be good, check your surroundings, and don’t forget to pray.’

“My prayer tonight is that he finds peace beyond our understanding until we meet again.

“Love you daddy.”

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