Doyle Conner

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Doyle Conner
Doyle Conner.jpg
7th Florida Commissioner of Agriculture
In office
1961–1991
Preceded by Lee Thompson
Succeeded by Bob Crawford
Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives
In office
1958–1960
Preceded by Thomas E. David
Succeeded by William V. Chappell Jr.
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
In office
1950–1960
Preceded by Jake Perman Roberts[1]
Succeeded by A. J. Thomas, Jr.[1]
Personal details
Born Doyle Edward Conner
(1928-12-17)December 17, 1928
Starke, Florida
Died December 16, 2012(2012-12-16) (aged 83)
Monticello, Florida
Political party Democratic Party
Profession Farmer

Doyle Edward Conner, Sr. (December 17, 1928 – December 16, 2012) was an American politician. He served as Florida Commissioner of Agriculture for 30 years, and also served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.[2] He was born in 1928 in Starke, Florida.[3]

Early life[edit]

Conner was a fourth generation Floridian. From an early age, he worked in the family business of raising cattle, growing strawberries, and cutting timber.[4] As a young man, Conner was active in 4-H, serving as president of the local and Alachua County branches of the Club. At the age of 14, while attending a Florida Cooperative Extension Service forestry camp at a 4-H facility, Conner met the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nathan Mayo, and proclaimed that he would, some day, become Agriculture Commissioner when Mayo retired.[4][5] In later life, Conner would remark that Without 4-H I would not be the person I am today, or have accomplished the things that I have.[5]

Education[edit]

Conner attended the University of Florida.[6] While in college he was also a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. In addition, he served as National FFA President and was inducted in the Florida FFA Hall of Fame in 2007.

Political career[edit]

Conner served his entire political career as a Democrat. He was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1950, while he was still a student at the University of Florida. The feat earned Conner the nickname of "Boy Wonder", a label that stuck with him throughout his legislative career.[5] Conner represented Bradford County while serving in the lower house. In 1958, at the age of 28, he was elected as the youngest Speaker of the House. On January 2, 1961, Doyle Conner was inaugurated as Commissioner of Agriculture, succeeding Lee Thompson who assumed the post of interim Commissioner upon Nathan Mayo's death in office. Conner went on to serve as Florida's Agriculture for the next 30 years. During his tenure as Commissioner, Conner oversaw efforts to eliminate the giant African snail, hog cholera, the Mediterranean fruit fly, and the cattle screwworm.[6] While serving in this post he served under 7 Governors of Florida.[7] Conner retired in 1991, and was active in Florida 4-H for much of his remaining life. He was inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1985, the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Florida 4-H Hall of Fame in 2002.[4][5][8]

Death[edit]

Doyle Conner died at a nursing home in Monticello, Florida on December 16, 2012, one day before his 84th birthday.[9]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Membership of the Florida House of Representatives by County 1845-2016" (PDF). Florida House of Representatives. 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  2. ^ background information Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Outstanding Young Men of America - Google Books. Books.google.ca. Retrieved 2012-12-17. 
  4. ^ a b c "Florida Citus Hall of Fame - Doyle Conner (1928)". Florida Citrus Mutual. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Florida 4-H Hall of Fame - Doyle Conner". University of Florida IFAS Extension. 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Endowed Scholarships & Fellowships - Doyle Conner Scholarship". University of Florida. December 21, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  7. ^ Accomplishments as Commissioner of Agriculture
  8. ^ "Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame". Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Former state ag commissioner Doyle Conner dies | News - Home". News4jax.com. Retrieved 2012-12-17.