Bob Carr (Florida politician)

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For the U.S. Representative from Michigan, commonly known as Bob Carr, see Milton Robert Carr. For the Florida archaeologist, see Bob Carr (archaeologist).

Robert Spencer Carr (July 13, 1899 – January 29, 1967) was mayor of Orlando, Florida from 1956 to 1967. The Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre is named for him.

Carr was born in 1899 in Toledo, Ohio to William C. and Cora Elizabeth Carr.[1] In 1939, Carr (then a businessman) organized the Community Chest of Orlando, the community's first annual fund drive conducted to support local charitable organizations and the forerunner of the Heart of Florida United Way organization.[2] In 1945, while he was serving as president of the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce, he contributed to the establishment of the Orlando Negro Chamber of Commerce, the predecessor to the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida.[3] In 1954 he was one of a group of Florida community leaders who established the state's Easter Seals organization.[4]

As mayor he formed a Human Relations Committee to address race relations and peacefully desegregate the community.[5]

The defining event in shaping modern Orlando occurred during Carr's term as mayor when, in 1965, Walt Disney announced plans to build Walt Disney World outside the city.[6]

Carr died while in office on January 29, 1967 after suffering a heart attack.[7] He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Carl T. Langford succeeded him as mayor. His son, Robert Carr, Jr., has been active in Orlando politics.[8]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Heart of Florida United Way brochure (PDF)
  3. ^ "About Us", African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida (accessed August 4, 2007)
  4. ^ The Beginning of Easter Seals in Florida (accessed August 4, 2007)
  5. ^ Brechner Center.
  6. ^ Orlando, Florida History
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Bob Carr Jr