2008 CHARLTON TEBEAU BOOK AWARD WINNER
“In this exciting book—part political history, part travelogue—Dorothy Smiljanich sheds light on 1960s Florida with her vivid portrayal of one of Florida’s most colorful political figures, Scott Kelly. Mayor of Lakeland at 28 and legislative power broker in his 30s, Kelly strode a wide path in the swirling political cauldron of 1960s Florida. Kelly twice came within an eyelash of being governor. This vivid portrayal of Kelly’s life begins in the Old Florida of tobacco and turpentine, and concludes with the New Florida of huge housing developments and super expressways, a Florida Kelly helped create.”
James M. Denham, Professor of History, Florida Southern College
“If you followed Florida politics in the 1960s, you knew of Scott Kelly, a dynamic reformer in the populist vein. Dorothy Smiljanich became acquainted with Kelly in his later years and was motivated to profile a much more complex man than his public persona revealed. This is not a traditional academic analysis, but a fascinating study from a skilled writer with a newspaper background.”
Leland Hawes, retired history columnist, The Tampa Tribune
Dorothy Weik Smiljanich is a journalist who has worked for Florida newspapers, including the Gainesville Sun, the Clearwater Sun, the St. Petersburg Times and, most recently, the Tampa Tribune, where she was Travel Editor. She has been a film and theater critic and an award-winning features editor. Her work also has appeared in other newspapers, including The New York Times, and in magazines, including Coastal Living.
She has a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Florida in Gainesville and taught there, as well as at the University of South Florida in Tampa and at St. Petersburg Junior College in St. Petersburg. Born in Camden, N.J., she grew up in Clearwater and lives there now.