Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio's father dies

Marco Rubio signs documents April 27 that qualify him as a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, as his father, Mario Rubio, right, looks on. Mario Rubio died Saturday night in Baptist Hospital in Miami from emphysema and lung cancer.

Getty Images (2010)

Marco Rubio signs documents April 27 that qualify him as a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, as his father, Mario Rubio, right, looks on. Mario Rubio died Saturday night in Baptist Hospital in Miami from emphysema and lung cancer.

MIAMI — Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio temporarily suspended his campaign Sunday after the death of his father at Baptist Hospital in Miami.

Mario Rubio, 83, suffered from emphysema and lung cancer.

On the campaign trail, Rubio frequently spoke of the sacrifices made by his Cuban immigrant parents. His father's mother died when he was 9 years old, and he went to work the day after her funeral. He spent most of his life as a bartender but also worked as a street vendor, security guard, apartment building manager and crossing guard.

"He was by far the most unselfish person I have ever known, always focused on others, and never on his own well-being," Rubio said in a statement. "He was especially determined to provide his children opportunities he himself never had."

Rubio served as the first Cuban-American speaker of the Florida House before term limits forced him to leave office in 2008. Written off when he first began his Senate bid in 2009, Rubio forced Gov. Charlie Crist to bow out of the Republican primary or face near-certain defeat. Crist is now running as an independent. He and Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami are Rubio's chief competitors in the Nov. 2 election.

"He was very proud of my public service," Rubio said of his father. "And over the last 18 months he became an expert channel surfer, constantly searching for my next television interview."

The Rubio campaign said his father was surrounded by family Saturday night in his final moments: his wife of 61 years, Oria, and his children Mario, Barbara, Marco and Veronica.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the League Against Cancer, Liga Contra El Cancer, at ligacontraelcancer.org.

GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio's father dies 09/05/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 5, 2010 9:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. AP: Rick Scott to name Jimmy Patronis CFO on Monday

    Blogs

    From the AP's Gary Fineout:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott is turning to a long-time political ally and former north Florida legislator to take over one of the top elected jobs in state government. 

    Then state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City Beach, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, tour downtown Panama City, Fla. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Scott will name Patronis CFO on Monday.
  2. Despite Pride success, Grand Central business owners upset over losing parade

    Events

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Grand Central District was packed with people Sunday, there to enjoy the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Patrons eat lunch and cool off inside of the Community Cafe during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival along Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times

  3. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) scores in the eighth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie

    Blogs

    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.
  5. 'Sharknado' coming to Tampa Theatre with director Q&A

    Blogs

    A movie about a tornado filled with man-eating sharks has to be better on the big screen, right? You'll have a chance to find out for yourself when the Syfy network's original Sharknado screens at Tampa Theatre.

    The original 'Sharknado,' which premiered in 2013, will screen at Tampa Theatre.