- "Human beings are free except when humanity needs them."
- — Ender's Game, page 35
Hyrum Graff was born fourteen years after the Second Formic War. He grew up on his parent's farm in the midwest with six siblings. Hyrum was fascinated with Formic technology, and used its principles to modify farm equipment. Nevertheless, the farm was failing, and at the age of sixteen, Hyrum accepted an offer from the International Fleet to join Pre-Command School in return for support to his family's farm.
At Pre-Command, Graff's talents at bureaucracy were recognized, allowing him to rise above the level of an engineer. Together with a small group of cadets, Graff successfully stopped a plot to destroy the Ansible and recall the fleet.
Mazer in Prison
As a lieutenant, Hyrum Graff contacted Mazer Rackham through the ansible. Graff asked Mazer about which traits he should look for in new recruits for Battle School, to eventually replace Mazer as a commander in the Third Formic War. Mazer originally was not helpful in Graff's identification of necessary traits for a commander.
Graff eventually compiled messages from Mazer's family, including his wife Kim Arnsbrach. The messages prompted an emotional reaction from Mazer, which was reported back to Graff. Noting the emotional reaction, Graff apologized and informed Mazer that the International Fleet had been observing all of Mazer's actions in his courier ship. Mazer promptly responded by threatening to never return to Earth if Graff was not given ultimate control over finding Mazer's replacement.
Graff worked with the military bureaucrats to follow through with Mazer's plan. Successfully fulfilling Mazer's ultimatum, Graff was promoted to captain. He sent a video message to Mazer informing him that Graff intended to continue communications with Mazer until he found the appropriate commander.
The Polish Boy
Some time later, Graff was a young captain and teacher from the Battle School who attempted to recruit a young Polish boy named John Paul Wieczorek. Ultimately, he gave up on the boy and instead helped arrange for the family to move to the United States under the assumed surname Wiggin. Graff intended to return one day to recruit the boy's son.
Graff was later placed in charge of recruiting children for Battle School. This led him to watching Ender Wiggin's actions via the Monitor. After one final test, Graff realized that Ender was Battle School material, and took him to the orbiting station.
After Ender fought Bonzo Madrid, Graff returned to Earth with Ender for several months, as Ender had given up on his Battle School education. Once his sister Valentine had convinced him to continue, he and Graff returned to space; but not back to Battle School - they went to Command School on Eros.
Minister of Colonization
Following Ender's defeat of the Formics, Graff was court martialed for his decisions at the Battle School, with the main case centering on his decision not to interfere with the fight between Ender and Bonzo Madrid. Graff successfully contended in his defense that all of his actions were necessary to ensure that Ender would be able to defeat the Formics. He was acquitted.
Later on, he was given the job of Minister of Colonization, becoming an ally of Peter Wiggin and Bean in their struggles against Achilles de Flandres. He is also portrayed as a much more caring person later in life, and more importantly, was a strong advocate for establishing Peter as the true Hegemon over Earth.
Ender in Exile
After years of going in and out of Stasis to stay alive longer to see the Dispersal Project succeed, he was eventually removed from his office as Minister of Colonization due to nonperformance of his duties. He retired to a spot of land he owned in Ireland.
- Known E-Mail addresses:
- He eats when he is stressed.
- Graff was portrayed by Harrison Ford in Ender's Game (Film).
- "I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get."
- — Ender's Game, Chapter 1
- "For a few minutes there, it actually occurred to me to wonder what kind of a man would heal a broken child of some of his hurt, just so he could throw him back into battle again. A little private moral dilemma. Please overlook it. I was tired."
- — Ender's Game, Chapter 10