Sunshine Connections: Brooklynite David Sholtz was popular Florida governor during Depression

December 22, 2012 By Palmer Hasty Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Former Governor of Florida David Sholtz, born to Jewish parents in Brooklykn in 1891, graduated from Yale University in 1914 and also earned a law degree from Stetson University in 1915.  During World War I he established careers in the business and legal fields in Daytona Beach, Florida.  He was an ensign in the U.S. Navy during World War I and worked his way up to lieutenant commander in the reserves. 

In 1917 he entered politics and served one term in the Florida House of Representatives.  He was also a State’s Attorney from 1919 -1921 as well as being a City Judge in 1921.  In 1932 he won the Democratic Gubernatorial nomination and was elected Governor of Florida (Office Dates:  Jan 03, 1933 – Jan 05, 1937).

As the Governor he established the Florida Park System and the Citrus Commission and he had to deal with the effects of the Great Depression and President Roosevelts’ New Deal policies.  He passed a Worker’s Compensation Law as well as a mandate for free text books and funded salaries in public schools.   

In 1938 he ran for the U.S Senate but loss to another well known Florida politician, Claude Pepper.  Sholtz retired in New York but maintained his Florida residency and continued to practice law until his death in Key West in March of 1953.  He is buried at the Cedar Hill Memory Gardens in Daytona Beach, Florida.  

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