Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a devoted conservationist and writer, graduated from Wellesley College in 1912. She moved to Florida in 1915, and she spent the rest of her life writing and defending the cause for the Florida Everglades.
After graduation, Douglas joined the staff of the Miami Herald, worked with the Red Cross in Europe during World War I, and wrote dozens of short stories published by the Saturday Evening Post. During the 1920s, Douglas lectured at the University of Miami and Pennsylvania State University.
Her best-selling book, The Everglades: River of Grass, was first published in 1947. In this book, she detailed the ecological importance of the Everglades and describes how human civilization has affected the nature of the region. Developers in Florida wanted to designate the wetlands for agricultural and commercial use, thereby altering the ecosystem. In 1968, Douglas founded the Friends of the Everglades organization, designed to protect the Everglades.
Douglas was at the forefront of the legislative process to protect national parks and wildlife. She served on committees to create the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. In 1993, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton for her tireless efforts.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas died in 1998 at the age of 108. Her home, built in Coconut Grove in 1924, was named a state historical site.
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