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Florida's Comprehensive Historic Preservation Plan
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Great Floridian Program
The Great Floridian designation is presented annually in recognition of the outstanding achievements of men and women who have made significant contributions to the progress and welfare of this state.
Under Florida Statute 267.0731, an ad hoc committee, comprised of representatives of the Governor, each member of the Florida Cabinet, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Florida Secretary of State, meets to nominate citizens for designation as a Great Floridian. Following that, the Secretary of State selects no fewer than two nominees to be officially named a Great Floridian. Since the program began, 66 persons have been designated Great Floridians.
For more information FLHeritage@dos.myflorida.com.
|Lt. General Albert Hazen Blanding||2012||A captain in the Florida National Guard, Blanding was promoted to general officer rank when World War I broke out. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for leading the attack on Germany's Hindenburg Line, and the state's Infantry Training Center in Starke was named in his honor. During World War II, Camp Blanding was the largest in the nation.|
|Coach Bobby Bowden||2012||Coach Bobby Bowden, the second winningest coach in major college football history, guided the Florida State University football team to more than 300 victories, two national championships, and 12 Atlantic Coast Conference titles, finishing in the top five in the country in 14 straight seasons. The National Bobby Bowden Award is presented annually by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to a student athlete for achievement on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.|
|Caroline Mays Brevard||2012||Born in 1860, Brevard was a skilled researcher and a prolific author. A graduate of Columbia University, she returned home to Tallahassee to teach high school and later at the Florida State College for Women. In 1904 she published The History of Florida, an early and respected resource for researchers and historians documenting the history of the state.|
|Governor Jeb Bush||2012||Florida's 43rd Governor, and the only Republican Governor in the state's history to earn two terms. Bush championed major reform of government programs in public education, led the effort to establish the Florida Forever program, supported the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, launched the Governor's Mentoring Initiative, led efforts to computerize state government, and oversaw disaster management during the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons when six hurricanes hit the state.|
|Bernardo de Gálvez||2012||A Spanish military leader and the general of Spanish forces in New Spain. Gálvez aided the Thirteen Colonies in their quest for independence and led the Spanish armies against Britain in the Revolutionary War, defeating the British at Pensacola and reconquering Florida for Spain, during the 1781 Battle of Pensacola.|
|Hamilton Disston||2012||Disston bought four million acres of land in South Florida in 1881 for $1 million. "Disston's Purchase," as it became known, primed the state's economy and paved the way for railroad building efforts of Henry Flagler and Henry Plant two decades later. The purchase saved the state financially and opened the southern part of the state for development.|
|Lt. General James M. Gavin||2012||A West Point graduate, in 1942, Gavin was given command of a parachute infantry regiment in the newly formed 82nd Airborne Division. Under his command, paratroopers were an integral part of the Normandy invasion on D-Day. At the request of President John F. Kennedy, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to France 1961 and 1962.|
|The Honorable Frederick Brennan Karl||2012||Between 1956 and 1978, Karl served in the Florida House of Representatives, Florida State Senate, and Florida Supreme Court. During World War II, he served in the European Theater of Operations, was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, and was later awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart medals.|
|Thomas Alva Edison||2011||The American inventor, scientist, and businessman came to Fort Myers in 1885 in search of the perfect material for the light bulb filament. For the next 50 years, Edison and his wife Mina spent winters and springs in Fort Myers.|
|Senator Bob Graham||2011||State legislator, two-term governor, and a three-term U.S. Senator, Graham served more than four decades in public service at the local, state and national levels.|
|George Washington Jenkins||2011||The founder of Publix, the largest employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States, Jenkins opened the first store in Winter Haven in 1930.|
|Senator Toni Jennings||2011||Florida’s first female Lieutenant Governor and two-term President of the Florida Senate, Jennings is also a successful businesswoman, and former fifth grade teacher.|
|Governor Harrison Reed||2011||Florida’s Republican governor during Reconstruction (1868-73), Governor Reed tried to enfranchise freed slaves and introduce social reforms in the face of much hostility, while stabilizing the state’s shattered financial and taxation system.|
|Nathaniel Pryor Reed||2011||Assistant Secretary of the Interior in the Nixon and Ford administrations (1971-77), environmentalist Nathaniel Reed also served as Special Assistant to Florida Governor Claude Kirk, (1967-1971), and for many years as a member of the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District.|
|Marshall E. "Doc" Rinker, Sr.||2011||Founder of Rinker Materials, the largest producer of ready-mix concrete and block in Florida, Rinker became a generous contributor to cultural and educational institutions in the state.|
|The Honorable Jim Smith||2011||In 1968 Jim Smith was elected Florida Attorney General. He also served as Florida's Secretary of State (twice), as Chief of Staff for the office of Governor, and as Chairman of the Florida State University Board of Trustees.|
|Governor Park Trammell||2011||Park Trammell was elected to the 1903 Florida House of Representatives, served as President of the 1905 Florida Senate, was elected Attorney General in 1908, and Governor in 1912. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1916 , where he serveduntil his death in Washington, D.C., in 1936.|
|Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte||2010||President Emeritus of The Florida State University (FSU), dean of the FSU College of Law. State Representative, and former President of the American Bar Association.|
|Paula Hawkins||2010||Florida's first female U.S. Senator, consumer rights advocate and champion of children and families.|
|Archbishop Joseph Patrick Hurley||2010||Preserver of The East Florida Papers, and civic leader of post -World War II St. Augustine.|
|Tony Jannus||2010||Pilot of the world's first scheduled commercial flight.|
|Dr. Sarah McKay||2010||Business, cultural and civic leader, and philanthropist.|
|Captain David McCampbell||2010||The U.S. Navy's all-time leading ace, and Medal of Honor recipient.|
|Eddie Rickenbacker||2010||America's leading World War I ace, Medal of Honor recipient, and pioneer of commercial aviation.|
|Pedro Menendez de Aviles||2009||Spanish admiral who founded St. Augustine and first Governor of Spanish Florida|
|Governor Bob Martinez||2009||Fortieth Governor of Florida (1987-1991)|
|Dr. Mae McMillan||2009||Educator and founder of Pine Crest School|
|Eugene Patterson||2009||Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, editor and CEO of the St. Petersburg Times|
|Charles W. Pierce||2009||19th century Southeast Florida settler and one of the legendary "Barefoot Mailmen"|
|Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings||2009||Pulitzer Prize-winning author|
|May Mann Jennings||2008||Florida First Lady 1901-1905
Conservationist and Activist
|Congressman E. Clay Shaw, Jr.||2008||U.S. Congressman – 1981-2007|
|Harry T. Moore||2007||Civil rights activist|
|Senator Connie Mack||2007||U.S. Senator|
|Richard Keith Call||2006||Third and Fifth Territorial Governor|
|Julia DeForest Sturtevant Tuttle||2006||"Mother of Miami"|
|William Pope DuVal||2005||Florida's First Territorial Governor
Cultural and Arts Sponsor
|Governor Spessard Holland||2004||Florida's 28th Governor
|Governor Fuller Warren||2004||Florida's 30th Governor
|Mary Call Darby Collins||2003||Lifelong Preservationist|
|Henry Morrison Flagler||2003||Industrialist and Developer|
|Zora Neale Hurston||2003||Writer and Folklorist|
|Henry Plant||2003||Industrialist and Developer|
|General James Alward Van Fleet||2002||Combat Commander, Military Leader, Four-Star General|
|Mary McLeod Bethune||2002||Educator and Activist|
|Dr. John Gorrie||2002||Physician, Scientist and Inventor|
|William Henry Getty (Bill) France||2002||NASCAR Founder and Motor Sports Promoter|
|Richard (Dick) Pope||2002||Cypress Gardens Founder
Florida Tourism Promoter and Publicist
|Senator Mallory E. Horne||2002||Florida House Speaker and Senate President|
|Horacio Aguirre||2001||Publisher and International Journalist
Founding Editor, Diario Las Americas
|Lawton M. Chiles||2001||Florida's 41st Governor, 1991-1998
U.S. Senator, 1971 - 1989
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Lawton Chiles on Youtube.
|Reubin O'D. Askew||1998||Florida's 37th Governor
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Reubin O'D.Askew on Youtube.
|William Patrick Foster||1998||Bandleader, Florida A&M "Marching 100"
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for William P. Foster on Youtube.
|Chesterfield Smith||1997||Advocate for Justice
Florida's First American Bar Association President
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Chesterfield Smith on Youtube.
|E.T. York||1997||Florida University System Chancellor
University of Florida Interim President
IFAS Program Founder
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Dr. E.T. York on Youtube.
|Cecil Farris Bryant||1994||Florida's 34th Governor
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Governor Bryant on Youtube.
|George A. Smathers||1994||U.S. Senator
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for George A. Smathers on Youtube.
|Stephen C. O'Connell||1993||Florida Supreme Court Justice, 1966-1967
President, University of Florida, 1967 -1973
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Stephen C. O'Connell on Youtube.
|B.K. Roberts||1990||Three Time Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Justice B.K. Roberts on Youtube.
|Chester Howell Ferguson||1988||Attorney, Business and Civic Leader
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Chester Howell Ferguson on Youtube.
|Claude Denson Pepper||1988||U.S. Senator, 1936-1951
Congressional Representative, 1963-1989
Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1989
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Claude D. Pepper on Youtube.
|Ben Hill Griffin, Jr.||1987||Civic Leader and Citrus Baron
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Ben Hill Griffin, Jr. on Youtube.
|Marjory Stoneman Douglas||1987||Writer and Environmental Activist
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Majory Stoneman Douglas on Youtube.
|Alonzo "Jake" Gaither||1984||Legendary Head Football Coach, Florida A&M University
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for Alonzo "Jake" Gaither on Youtube.
|Thomas LeRoy Collins||1981||Florida's 33rd Governor
Watch the Great Floridians Film Series for LeRoy Collins on Youtube.