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 LeRoy Collins

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LeRoy Collins

Florida Governor. Born Thomas LeRoy Collins, he graduated from Cumberland Law School and became an attorney. A Democrat, he served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1934 to 1940, and then in the State Senate until resigning to enter the Navy during World War II. He returned to the State Senate after the war, serving until he won a 1954 election to complete the term of deceased Governor Daniel McCarty. Collins won a full term in 1956. As Governor, he focused on improving education and civil rights for minorities. Although he condemned the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, he fought with the legislature to prevent it from passing laws favoring segregation. After leaving office in 1961, he served as President of the National Association of Broadcasters until becoming Director of the Community Relations Service, a position created by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In 1965 he became US Under Secretary of Commerce, serving until his 1966 resignation. In 1968 he ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate. Many political observers, including Governor Reubin Askew and Governor and US Senator Bob Graham, refer to Collins as Florida's greatest Governor. In the 1940s Collins purchased "The Grove," a plantation built by Governor Richard K. Call, the great grandfather of Collins' wife Mary Call Darby Collins. The Grove is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open for tours.

Bio by: Bill McKern


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bill McKern
  • Added: 20 Sep 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21665790
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for LeRoy Collins (10 Mar 1909–12 Mar 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21665790, citing Call Family Cemetery, Tallahassee, Leon County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .