Mike Dow

Mike Dow

Michael Craig Dow (born 1947) is an American politician who was the four-term mayor of Mobile, Alabama (1989–2005), and is widely credited in the area, along with Arthur Outlaw, whose 15 year plan he followed, of spurring the redevelopment of downtown Mobile. He was mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2010, but declined to run.

Mike Dow was born in South Carolina and was raised as a foster child. He had a troubled childhood. His father left them when he was ten and his mother was plagued with mental illness. As a consequence he became a ward of the state. Later at about the age of fourteen he was taken in by his maternal grandfather, Henry Gainous. His service in Vietnam included a tour in the A Shau Valley (Hamburger Hill). He served as a paratrooper in his first tour of duty and as a door gunner for subsequent tours. In a fourth helicopter crash his pilot and best friend, Johnny Legg, perished. Mr. Dow was following his friend in another helicopter at the time and this precipitated his decision to leave the military. He still keeps a rubbing of Mr. Legg's name from the Vietnam memorial in his office. Upon leaving Vietnam he received a master's degree in accounting from the University of South Alabama. In 1979, he co-founded QMS (Quality Micro Systems) with his brother-in-law, Jim Busby. Dow functioned at one time or another as Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Accounting for the company. Quality Micro Systems, a printer manufacturing company, at one time competed with giants like Hewlett Packard, Canon, Xerox, and Tektronix and was listed in the Fortune 500. Dow is credited with creating the companies European distribution network. After Black Monday the company was forced to downsize and was eventually purchased by Minolta. Prior to this Dow left QMS and entered the race for city council District 6.

Read more about Mike Dow:  The Election of 1989, Mayoralty, Post Mayoral Career

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