Douglas, Marjory Stoneman

Douglas, Marjory Stoneman,

1890–1998, American journalist, writer, and environmentalist, b. Minneapolis, grad. Wellesley College, 1912. In 1915 she moved to Miami and began working for a newspaper that later became the Miami Herald, writing about women's issues, social justice, and the environment. She advocated for protection of the EvergladesEverglades,
marshy, low-lying subtropical savanna area, c.4,000 sq mi (10,000 sq km), S Fla., extending from Lake Okeechobee S to Florida Bay. Characterized by water, sawgrass, hammocks (islandlike masses of vegetation), palms, pine and mangrove forests, and solidly packed black
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, on which S Florida's increasing development was encroaching. After leaving the Herald (1923) she freelanced for the Saturday Evening Post and other publications, writing short stories, novels, and poetry as well as nonfiction. Her Everglades: River of Grass (1947) led to the creation of Everglades National Park. Her activism grew in the 1950s as flood control projects drained much of the Everglades and led to increased agricultural and urban development. Douglas founded the Friends of the Everglades in 1969.


See her autobiography, Voice of the River (1987); biography by J.E. Davis (2009).

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Douglas, Marjory Stoneman

(1890–  ) author, conservationist; born in Minneapolis, Minn. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1912 and worked as a journalist and educator in Miami. Her book, The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), sounded an early warning of the environmental perils facing the Florida Everglades. She cofounded Friends of the Everglades in 1969 and is widely credited with helping to slow the destruction of the swamp ecosystem. She is also the author of several works of juvenile literature.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.