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Florida; Friends of the Everglades; Perry; Charles E. 1937-1999; Marjory Stoneman Douglas; April 4; 1973


Charles Perry and Marjory Stoneman Douglas in front of easel with map of Florida.

Charles Edward Perry (Chuck), 1937-1999, was the founding president of Florida International University in Miami, Florida. He grew up in Logan County, West Virginia and received his bachelor's and masters's degrees from Bowling Green State University. He married Betty Laird in 1960. In 1969, at the age of 32, Perry was the youngest president of any university in the nation. The name of the university reflects Perry’s desire for a title that would not limit the scope of the institution and would support his vision of having close ties to Latin America. Perry and a founding corps opened FIU to 5,667 students in 1972 with only one large building housing six different schools. Perry left the office of President of FIU in 1976 when the student body had grown to 10,000 students and the university had six buildings, offered 134 different degrees and was fully accredited. Charles Perry died on August 30, 1999 at his home in Rockwall, Texas. He is buried on the FIU campus in front of the Graham Center entrance.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was born on April 7, 1890. In South Florida she is best known for her environmental advocacy passionately fighting for the protection and preservation of the Florida Everglades. As a writer, her most influential book was the book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), which redefined the popular conception of the Everglades as a treasured river instead of a worthless swamp. Moving to South Florida to pursuit a career in journalism, she began writing for the Miami Herald newspaper and then worked as freelance writer, producing over one hundred short stories that were published in popular magazines. Throughout her long life (lived until age 108), she received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was inducted into several halls of fame. She died on May 14, 1998. A statue of her invites visitors at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, Florida to sit with her statue and contemplate the garden. Two South Florida public schools are named in her honor: Broward County Public Schools' Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Miami-Dade County Public Schools' Marjory Stoneman Douglas Elementary School.


Please contact the owning institution for licensing and permissions. It is the users responsibility to ensure use does not violate any third party rights. Special Collections & University Archives, Green Library, Florida International University.


black-and-white photographs, 8 x 10 in.


Florida; Friends of the Everglades; Perry; Charles E. 1937-1999; Marjory Stoneman Douglas; April 4; 1973