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10 things I learned about Craig Fugate

By Ed O'Keefe

VIDEO: FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate speaks about how the agency has changed since Hurricane Katrina.

Take a read of my profile of FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate as he heads to New Orleans today for a week of events to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Then check out some interesting facts about him below:

(RELATED: Chat live with Fugate Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET)

10.) His formal name is W. Craig Fugate. He goes by Craig. The W stands for William.

9.) Fugate, 51, was born at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. His mother died when he was 11; his father, a Navy veteran, died when he was 16.

8.) Craig's sister and her children live outside New Orleans -- part of the reason he took the government's botched response to Hurricane Katrina so personally.

7.) He joined the Alachua County Fire Rescue Squad right after high school. Though he attended a community college and the Florida State Fire College; he does not have a college degree.

6.) On his first day as a full-time paramedic in the early 1980s, Fugate declared seven people dead as the result of heart attacks, a small plane crash and carbon monoxide poisoning. It's a one-day Alachua County record that earned him the nickname, “The Grim Reaper.”

5.) Fugate is a HUGE Florida Gators fan. His office includes a big Gators blanket, caps and a Russian doll set painted with the faces and uniforms of Gators players. Aides discovered the dolls when they were with Fugate on an official trip to Russia earlier this year. "I always root for the Gators, the SEC East and the SEC West as a whole. And anybody else from Florida."

4.) He was a bachelor until 2002 when he married his wife, Sheree. They enjoy sea kayaking.

3.) The couple split their time between a house in Gainesville and an apartment in Washington's Penn Quarter. They live in the same building as Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. He met Kagan on the elevator, shortly after the Senate Judiciary Committee referred her nomination to the full Senate.

2.) He's a big fan of the In Case of Emergency Blog and author John Solomon's outsider perspective on Homeland Security issues. He's an active Twitter user, (@CraigatFEMA) and he's not afraid of FlipCam-wielding bloggers (see above). Fugate frequently riffs about his travels and FEMA policy in a recurring series of YouTube videos.

1.) During his time as head of Florida's emergency management division, Fugate would wear a tattered orange Gators hat when a crisis was at its peak. He'd switch to a blue Gators hat when the situation was under control. "Now I just wear a FEMA hat," he said.

Read the full profile and leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 25, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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So what's the deal -- he was a bachelor until a few years ago but he has two grown children? Did he have a relationship? Adopt as a single man?

Posted by: Arlington2 | August 27, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

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