Jack E. Davis


Late in life, Marjory Stoneman Douglas earned a reputation a an impassioned and outspoken environmentalist. Her antiquity, warrior-like spirit, and signature wide-brim hats made her a darling of the media. From Ms. and Rolling Stone magazines to the smallest village newspapers of Florida, journalists called her "Our Lady of the Glades," "Grand Dame of the Everglades," "Guardian of the Glades," "Guardian of the Glades' Spirit," "First Lady of the Everglades," "Empress of the Everglades," "Champion of Everglades," and "Everglades Evangelist." She received countless honorary degrees, medals, and awards. At age 102, she was Honorary Chair of the Conference on the World Woman's Congress for a Healthy Planet. In 1993, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor. "The next time I hear someone mention the timeless wonder and power of Mother Nature," Clinton said at the Washington D.C. ceremony, "I'll be thinking of you." Perhaps equally notable, the precocious Lisa Simpson on the popular television program The Simpsons recognized Douglas as one the three most influential women of the twentieth century; and two years after the environmental crusader's death in 1998, an orchestral piece was composed in her honor, Voice of the Everglades (Epitaph for Marjory Stoneman Douglas).