Dr. Jack E. Davis is a professor of history at the University of Florida, and the Rothman Family Chair in the Humanities specializing in environmental history and sustainability studies. He is the author or editor of 10 books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.

Friends of the Everglades had the opportunity to host a live conversation with Jack during our Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Luncheon on December 5, 2022, at the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove. The conversation was especially meaningful as Jack is well-versed in the life and work of Friends of the Everglades founder, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, having written a 730-page biography about her more than a decade ago. 

Jack is a native Floridian that spent time camping in the Everglades where he first read Marjory’s seminal book, The Everglades: River of Grass. He describes being struck by Marjory’s understanding of and ability to share the importance of the Everglades ecosystem — during a time when ecological science was largely rejected as a field of study. 

As we know, Marjory’s work would inspire a movement that would forever change the world’s perspective of the Everglades. Jack’s study of Marjory’s long history as an author, an environmental advocate, and a leader of social justice are all characteristics he credits with inspiring him to write influential biographies on people and places that have captivated audiences ever since. 

Relive this live discussion exploring Jack’s work and motivations.