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John D. MacDonald Endowment

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This fund was established in 1980 for the purpose of supporting the organization, preservation and reference services for collected papers of John D. MacDonald in the Rare Books Collection of the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections in the George A. Smathers Libraries.

MacDonald was born July 24, 1916, in Sharon, PA. In 1939, he earned a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Business. He spent his career as a suspense writer best known for his Travis McGee series. His first short stories were written while he was serving in the army in South Asia during World War II. At that time, he mailed a short story to his wife Dorothy, who submitted it without his knowledge to a magazine, which paid him $25. His first story was published after his discharge in 1945. He then wrote for pulp magazines in New York before moving to Florida in 1949. Throughout his career, he published 78 novels and 5 non-fiction works, which have sold 75 million copies worldwide. A collection of his works is located in the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries.

After moving to Florida, MacDonald and family lived in Sarasota. In 1972, he was awarded the Edgar Grand Master award in 1972 by the Mystery Writers of America.

MacDonald passed away December 28, 1986. He was survived by his wife Dorothy, a son and five grandchildren.

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