6. Steve Carlton. The first pitcher to win 4 Cy Young Awards, lefty Carlton was born in Miami, Florida, in 1944 and attended North High School and Miami-Dade Community College. He returned to Florida for spring training when with the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies from 1965 until 1986. They are among the 6 teams he played for during a 24 year career. St. Louis is where he began his journey to The Hall of Fame at the age of 20. I first got to know him when he played for the Cardinals and still regret the contract issues that caused him to pack up and leave. St. Louis is my hometown and I’m left-handed too, but that’s pretty much where our similarities end.
7. Walt Disney. He did more for Florida than almost any other entrepreneur. The Walt Disney Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, more commonly known as Walt Disney World, is the planet’s most visited entertainment resort. Disney announced this Orlando theme park in 1964 and intended it to be a grander version of Anaheim’s Disneyland with a resort, EPCOT, etc. He was developing plans for it when he died. His brother Roy finished the project and insisted that it be called Walt Disney World in his honor.
8. Faye Dunaway. From Bascom, Florida, Dunaway attended Florida State University & the University of Florida where she graduated in theater before going on to make well over 50 films and get nominated for 3 Academy Awards, winning once for Network. Recent reports indicate that if they decide to remake Sunset Boulevard she’d be perfect as Norma Desmond since she has apparently been rehearsing for it for years via some lifestyle crises.
9. Thomas Edison. This inventive American inventor had a winter residence in Fort Myers, Florida, from 1887 until his death in 1931. His neighbor was Henry Ford. Tire-maker Harvey Firestone was a camping buddy. Tourists can visit the Edison estate on guided tours and recall his impressive list of inventions–phonographs, movie projectors, etc.–in a museum.
10. Gloria Estefan. The Queen of Latin Pop with 3 Grammies and over 100 million albums sold, many to me, Estefan was born in Havana, Cuba, but the Fajardo family moved to Miami in time for her to attend high school there. Like Faye Dunaway she attended the University of Miami and earned a BA. She has always called Florida home and is reportedly currently living in Miami Beach’s Star Island area. Last year, among other projects, she appeared on Glee, started a reality show, and recorded “Who Can I Turn To?” with Tony Bennett.
The photo of Steve Carlton above, alas, was not taken by me but found at stevecarlton.com.