16. Winslow Homer. This outstanding American artist lived most of his life in Maine, but after his mother died, being from Maine, he started spending winters in places like Florida. His watercolors of palm trees, tropical clouds, ocean, etc. are among his lightest works in every sense of the word. According to Exploring Florida (fcit.usf.edu), Homer would take a steamer from New York to Florida and explore widely. He came to favor Jacksonville, Key West, etc. Homer’s huge contribution to history was his paintings, sketches, etc. done at or near Civil War battlefields. He & photographer Matthew Brady made war real to the general public for the first time. The painting above is from Wikipedia’s Gallery.
17. Chris Evert Lloyd. Born in Fort Lauderdale, this 18 time Grand Slam singles tennis champion still lives in Florida, namely Boca Raton. Among her records, Lloyd reached the Grand Slam singles finals 34 times. About her only default was a brief marriage to Aussie Greg Norman in 2008. For one thing, they couldn’t agree on where to live. According to People magazine, he resided in Jupiter while she stayed in her Boca Raton home. Today she’s an ESPN commentator, coach, tennis academy operator, etc.
18. Jim Morrison. Intellectually gifted singer/songwriter Morrison is one of those entertainers like Marilyn Monroe & Michael Jackson who continue to be revered after dying. Born in Melbourne, Florida, Morrison is buried in Paris, France’s largest cemetery among others with famous last names–Chopin, Piaf, etc. Dead at 27 like Janis Joplin & Amy Winehouse, Morrison probably overdosed on heroin. According to Wikipedia and very appropriately, in the early 1990s his father placed a flat stone on his son’s grave bearing the inscription: ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ, usually interpreted as “true to his own spirit”. Son of a Rear Admiral, Morrison lived with grandparents in Clearwater, Florida, as a teenager and attended classes at St. Petersburg College. He appeared in a school recruitment film for Florida State University. At age 21 he moved to LA and got into the Venice Beach scene and all that entails. The Doors formed and “Light My Fire” brought national recognition.
19, Ralph Hubbard Norton. When this wealthy steel magnet (Acme) retired in Chicago, he & wife Elizabeth moved permanently to West Palm Beach. They soon decided to share their enormous art collection with the public. The result is Palm Beach’s excellent Norton Museum of Art. Among its 7,000 works are great works by Chagall, Monet, Pollock, etc. This is truly one of the U.S.’s finest museums.
20. Ponce de Leon. Juan led the first European expedition to Florida and appreciated its tropical landscape. Spaniards at that time called Easter “Pascula Florida” (Festival of Flowers) and, since Juan was there during Easter season, he named the place Florida. After making landfall in the vicinity of what is now St. Augustine, his expedition traveled south to Biscayne Bay, cut through The Keys, and went far up the west coast. He hadn’t made it to Florida while serving as a “gentleman volunteer” on Columbus’ 2nd voyage. The legend connecting his Florida sojourn to a search for a fountain of youth didn’t take root until after he died. More likely he was looking for gold.