Sunday, November 14, 2010

Florida History: Fort Lauderdale’s R.H. Gore once Puerto Rico governor

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By Jane Feehan

Robert H. Gore, Sr. (1886-1972) a Kentuckian who adopted Fort Lauderdale as his home, once served as the 11th governor of Puerto Rico.

He climbed out of poverty to success through the newspaper publishing business in Indiana and Florida. Gore acquired the Fort Lauderdale News in 1929 and was later named publisher of the Daytona Beach Record and the Deland Sun.

Gore, a supporter of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was tapped as finance committee chair for the Democratic National Committee in 1932. He later asked and was granted by FDR an appointment as governor of Puerto Rico.  Gore was sworn into that office May 22, 1933. He left his adopted Fort Lauderdale with his wife, mother and six of his nine children to begin his one-year term.

While in office, Gore successfully encouraged tourism to Puerto Rico and used some of his own funds to improve conditions on the island. Because of family illness, assassination threats (commonplace at the time) and political intrigue, Gore resigned a few months short of his term. He returned to Fort Lauderdale where he subsequently helped shape the city’s political and economic landscape. Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.

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Sources:
 - Gore, Paul, Past the Edge of Poverty, R.H. Gore, 1990.
 -  University of Florida Foundation at:

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