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Oil on canvas, Ivan Stoppe, 1953
January 6, 1953 to September 28, 1953
Dan McCarty was born in Fort Pierce on January 18, 1912. A citrus grower and cattleman in Fort Pierce, he served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1937 until 1941 and was the speaker of the 1941 House. McCarty distinguished himself in World War II and returned as a colonel with the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the French Croix de Guerre.
McCarty was runner-up for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1948 and was elected governor in 1952. He suffered a disabling heart attack on February 25, 1953, and died on September 28 in Tallahassee.
During his short term of office, McCarty began major construction projects in the state, reformed purchasing and hiring practices, boosted teachers' salaries and created scholarships for teacher training, opposed oil exploration in the Everglades, and instituted aid programs for the disabled.