Railroad magnate and real estate developer Henry Morrison Flagler is certainly among the most noteworthy Florida residents. Flagler, along with more than two dozen influential personalities who are part of the history of the Sunshine State are described in a new book, “Florida Made: The 25 Most Important Figures Who Shaped the State.”
Authors former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and journalist Laura E. Mize will talk about Flagler and other famous figures during a presentation at The Flagler Museum in Palm Beach on Sunday, October 14, at 3 p.m. Tickets at $25 per person, which includes a reception and museum admission, are available online or by phone (561) 655-2833.
In “Florida Made,” LeMieux and Mize examine the contributions of a diverse cast of characters and how they helped to propel Florida’s national status from “insect-ridden swampland” to the leading destination for tourism, business, agriculture and innovation it is today. The personalities explored include conservationist and journalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, physician-inventor Dr. John Gorrie and orange grower Douglas Dummett.
LeMieux and Mize also offer perspectives on the effect the ideas and actions of other key historical figures including the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro had on Florida as we know it today. Winner of the prestigious Florida Authors & Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Award, “Florida Made” sold out its initial printing.
Book sales support The LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University, established in 2012 with the goal of providing opportunities for students to engage with state and national officials, journalists, authors, academics and other notable thought leaders on issues important to Florida, the nation and the world.
Programming at the LeMieux Center includes a free lecture series of distinguished speakers, which has included presidential historian Jon Meacham, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and publishing titan Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media. The Center also offers a fellows and congressional internship program component.
LeMieux, who currently serves as chairman of the board of Gunster law firm, served in the U.S. Senate for Florida during the 111th session of Congress. He gifted volumes of his senatorial papers and other memorabilia to the university, which now reside in Palm Beach Atlantic’s Warren Library archives. Mize is a PBA alumna and former reporter for The Palm Beach Post, who has covered Florida business, culture, food and dining and agriculture industries extensively. She now lives in Southwest Florida with her family.