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Marjory Stoneman Douglas
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Advocate
    (April 7, 1890-May 14, 1998)
    Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Wrote 'The Everglades: River of Grass' (1947)
    Founded Friends of the Everglades (1968)
    Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1993)
    She had several nervous breakdowns.
    She married Kenneth Douglas, a newspaper editor 30 years her senior, after knowing him for only three months.
    While working as a society columnist for the Miami Herald, she would invent stories on slow news days.
    Despite her advocacy for preserving the Everglades, she spent very little time there, noting 'It's too buggy, too wet, too generally inhospitable.'
    A reporter wrote that her trademark floppy hats 'made her look like Scarlett O'Hara as played by Igor Stravinsky.'
    She had to manage the family's finances after her parents separated and her mother was committed to a mental hospital.
    During World War I, she joined the Red Cross and cared for war refugees.
    In addition to environmental causes, she crusaded for women's suffrage, the Equal Rights Amendment, civil rights and the rights of migrant workers.
    She arranged interest-free loans so black residents of the Overtown section of Miami could install plumbing in their homes.
    She continued working to preserve the Everglades after passing the century mark.
    She observed, 'People can't be rude to me, this poor little old woman. But I can be rude to them, poor darlings, and nobody can stop me.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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