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George Firestone

Patron

1931 - 2012
Inducted in 1988

Biography

Florida's 20th Secretary of State, Firestone was a Florida resident since 1936. He served in the Florida House of Representatives and the Senate before being elected secretary of state in 1978. As chief cultural officer of Florida, Firestone established a goal for Florida to be recognized as the "State of the Arts." Under his leadership, support for the arts increased more than 3,200%.

A New York City native, Firestone grew up in Miami, where his parents moved in 1936.  After serving a stint in the U.S. Army, mustering out in 1952, he became a leader both in business and in a number of civic organizations, the Jaycees in particular. 

Firestone became interested in a career in politics, and ran a successful campaign for a state House seat in 1966.  A Democrat, he represented both Dade and Monroe counties.  In 1972, he was elected to the Florida Senate, serving two years. 

In 1978, he ran for the office of Secretary of State (then an elected office) and won handily. He served two terms under Florida Gov. Bob Graham before leaving office in 1987.