Florida House Distinguished Author & Artist Awards
Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad Meltzer actually received credit at Columbia Law School for writing his first book, “The Tenth Justice.” He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nine other thrillers, many set in Washington, DC. There is usually a mystery to be solved, a puzzle to figure out or a shady character lurking. His core belief is that ordinary people change the world, which is why his curiosity has led him to write comic books, a children’s book series including “I Am Abraham Lincoln,” and a non-fiction collection of heroes for his son and daughter. Brad is also host of the television series “Brad Meltzer’s Lost History” and “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded” on the History Channel.
Dr. Denham is considered one of the foremost scholars on Florida in the territorial and early statehood years. He has just simultaneously published two books, Fifty Years of Justice, a history of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and Florida Founder William P. DuVal: Frontier Bon Vivant, the story of Florida’s early territorial governor. A native of Miami, Dr. Denham is the Department Chair and Professor of History at Florida Southern College and the Director of the Lawton M. Chiles, Jr. Center for Florida History at the college. He is a graduate of Florida State University, received the Preservationist of the Year Award for the City of Lakeland in 2005 and has authored many other books and magazine articles. According to Dr. Sarah McKay, who has known Dr. Denham for many years, he has volumes of information gathered to write a book about Lawton Chiles.
Previous Award Winners
Gary R. Mormino, Ph.D., Author
E. ‘Beanie’ Backus, Artist *Deceased
Niki and Clyde Butcher, Artists
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Author *Deceased
Christopher M. Still, Artist
Carlton W. Ward, Jr., Author
The Highwaymen, Artists
2015 – Pete Clemons, Okeechobee
At the Spring, 2016 Board of Trustees meeting Okeechobee native Pete Clemons was recognized as a Florida Icon. At 16 Pete became a professional rodeo athlete, putting himself through college with his winnings. He is a 10-time Florida rodeo champion and won the Silver Spurs Rodeo All Around Champion award eight times. The mascot for Osceola High School’s Cowboys was based on a drawing of Pete as he went to compete in the National Jaycees Rodeo Championship in Colorado Springs. He won the best all-around title. At the age of 37 he retired from the rodeo to raise cattle on his Okeechobee ranch and run the Okeechobee Livestock Market. In 2008 he was inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame. As one of the best known and beloved cowboys in our state, Florida House honors Pete with its first Florida Icon Award.
The 1845 Society
The 1845 Society honors and celebrates those who have shown extraordinary effort on behalf of Florida House. This is the highest award Florida House bestows and it is not given on a regular basis. The honoree is given the Louise Lykes Ferguson Medal, named after one of our founding Trustees and shown here with Founder Rhea Chiles.
2016 Grace and Bill Nelson
2013 Emilie and Clay Shaw
2011 Gus Stavros
2009 Eileen and Loyd Kelly
2008 Snead Davis
2007 Elizabeth Lindsay
2006 Sarah McKay
2004 Adele and Bob Graham
2003 Rhea Chiles
The Rhea Chiles Vision Award
The Rhea Chiles Vision Award is giving to a Floridian who has given extraordinary service to Florida House, its mission, vitality and stability; to someone whose involvement moved the organization toward expansion, soundness or increased stature. Nominations are only accepted from Florida House trustees.
Vision Award Recipients:
Emilie and Clay Shaw
The Chairman’s Award
Given by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for exceptional service.
2014 The Risi Family
The Florida House Education Award
Recognizing outstanding achievement in education, a core value in the Florida House mission.
2014 Sarah McKay