By Mike Miller November 28, 2021
Marjory Stoneman Douglas was born on April 7, 1890 and died on May 14, 1998 at the age of 108.
She was known in her lifetime as one of the strongest defenders of the Everglades against large drainage and development projects.
Marjory moved to Miami in 1915 as a young divorcee to work for her father, Frank Stoneman, the powerful publisher of the Miami Herald.
She soon became active in many causes, including women's rights and civil rights, and wrote advertising copy for developers that praised the beauty and agricultural potential of the Everglades.
In later years, she regretted having been an Everglades development booster.
In addition to her journalism career, she became a successful writer, producing over one hundred short stories and publishing in many popular magazines.
She began to be recognized as one of the up and coming Florida authors.
Her most influential work was published in 1947, a book titled "The Everglades: River of Grass".
Before "River of Grass", most Americans viewed the Florida Everglades as a dangerous and worthless swamp full of vermin, snakes, alligators, creepy crawly insects and other undesirable animals.
"River of Grass" redefined the way people looked at the Everglades, and is considered by many to be as influential on the public's environmental awareness as was Rachel Carson's later book, "Silent Spring", published in 1962.
Marjory was now enshrined forever in the pantheon of great Florida authors.
For the remainder of her life after "River of Grass", she was a relentless reporter and fearless crusader for the preservation of the natural Everglades.
She was either loved or hated, depending on which side of the environmental spectrum was involved. Environmentalists loved her; developers and chambers of commerce were not so fond of her.
Marjory lived in the same small house in Coconut Grove from the time she came to town in 1915 until her death in 1998.
She lived to be 108 years old, and won many awards in her lifetime including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
She accomplished a lot for one lifetime - even a very long one - and lovers of the Florida Everglades appreciate her efforts and recognize her as one of the greatest Florida authors.
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