Clarence William "Bill" Nelson II (born September 29, 1942) is an American politician and astronaut. Nelson is the 14th and current Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration since May 2021. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He was the United States Senator from Florida from 2001 to 2019. He lost his re-election campaign in 2018 to Republican Governor Rick Scott.
|14th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration|
|Assumed office |
May 3, 2021
|Preceded by||Jim Bridenstine|
|United States Senator|
January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Connie Mack III|
|Succeeded by||Rick Scott|
|Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee|
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||John Thune|
|Succeeded by||Maria Cantwell|
|Chair of the Senate Aging Committee|
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Herb Kohl|
|Succeeded by||Susan Collins|
|Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, and Fire Marshal of Florida|
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||Tom Gallagher|
|Succeeded by||Tom Gallagher|
|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1991
|Preceded by||Louis Frey Jr. (9th)|
Dan Mica (11th)
|Succeeded by||Michael Bilirakis (9th)|
Jim Bacchus (11th)
|Constituency||9th district (1979–1983)|
11th district (1983–1991)
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
from the 47th district
November 21, 1972 – November 21, 1978
|Succeeded by||Tim Deratany|
Clarence William Nelson II
September 29, 1942
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Grace Cavert (m. 1972)
|Education||University of Florida|
Yale University (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1965–1968, 1970–1971 (Reserve)|
|NASA payload specialist|
Time in space
|6d 02h 03m|
He was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 1972 to 1978 and in the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 1991. In January 1986, he became the second sitting member of Congress to fly in space, after Jake Garn. He was a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Early political careerEdit
United States SenateEdit
In the U.S. Senate, he was a centrist and a moderate Democrat. Nelson supported same-sex marriage, lowering taxes on lower and middle income families, expanding environmental programs and regulation, protecting the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid.
Nelson chaired the Senate Aging Committee from 2013 to 2015, and was Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee from 2015 to 2019.
Administrator to NASAEdit
On February 22, 2021, reports emerged that President Joe Biden was considering nominating Nelson to be the NASA Administrator. Biden officially nominated Nelson on March 19, 2021 to the position.
- "Florida Marriage Collection, 1822–1875 and 1927–2001". Ancestry.com.
- Davenport, Christian. "Biden expected to nominate former senator Bill Nelson to be NASA administrator". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
- "Bill Nelson pitches long-held moderate message in tight U.S. Senate race". Tampabay.com. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- Sullivan, Erin. "U.S. Rep. Connie Mack takes on longtime Sen. Bill Nelson | News". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- "Sen. Bill Nelson fights off GOP efforts to tag him a liberal | Tampa Bay Times". Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- "U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson: Nelson works hard to be seen as moderate - tribunedigital-orlandosentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. October 25, 2012. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
- "Republican Rick Scott wins Florida Senate race, defeating incumbent Bill Nelson". Vox. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- Speck, Emilee (February 22, 2021). "Report: President Biden considering former Sen. Bill Nelson to lead NASA". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
- "Senate confirms ex-Sen. Nelson to NASA". The Hill. 29 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
- Henry Pierson Curtis and April Hunt (November 9, 2006). "Senator's Son Arrested after Orlando Fracas". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "Florida's senior senator praises Martinez, stays quiet about possible candidates in 2010". Archived 2009-12-02 at the Wayback Machine U.S. Senator Bill Nelson – Florida (official U.S. Senate website). Retrieved 2009-12-16.
Media related to Bill Nelson at Wikimedia Commons