FSC's Center for Florida History welcomes Scott Kelly biographer Dorothy Weik Smiljanich
LAKELAND, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2007) — Florida Southern College’s Center for Florida History will host journalist and author Dorothy Weik Smiljanich to the Florida Lecture Series on Dec. 3. Smiljanich will discuss her biography “Then Sings My Soul: The Scott Kelly Story.” The lecture will start at 7 p.m. in the William M. Hollis Seminar Room of the Thad Buckner Building on the FSC campus. The event is free and open to the public. A book signing follows the lecture.
“We are delighted to have Dorothy Smiljanich with us to introduce her new book,” said James Denham, professor of history and director of FSC’s Center for Florida History. “This exciting biography – part political history, part travelogue – sheds light on 1960s Florida with her vivid portrayal of one of Florida’s most colorful political figures – Scott Kelly. Mayor of Lakeland at 28 and legislative power broker in his 30s, Kelly strode a wide path in the swirling political cauldron of 1960s Florida. Kelly twice came within an eyelash of being governor. This vivid portrayal of Kelly’s life begins in the Old Florida of tobacco and turpentine, and concludes with the New Florida of huge housing developments and super expressways – a Florida Kelly helped create."
Smiljanich has worked for several Florida newspapers, including the Gainesville Sun, the Clearwater Sun, the St. Petersburg Times and, most recently, the Tampa Tribune, where she was travel editor. She has been a film and theater critic and an award-winning features editor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, and in magazines, including Coastal Living.
Smiljanich earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Florida in Gainesville. She has taught there, as well as at the University of South Florida in Tampa and at St. Petersburg Junior College in St. Petersburg. Born in Camden, N.J., Smiljanich grew up in Clearwater where she currently resides.
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