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Charles E. and Dorothy J. Bennett Fund

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This fund was established in 2008 by the estate of Charles E. and Dorothy J. Bennett. Charles was born December 2, 1910 in Canton, NY. His wife, Dorothy was born August 13, 1921.

Charles received a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctor from the University of Florida in 1934. A former US representative, Charles was first elected in 1948. He was Florida’s longest serving congressman at the time of his passing, nicknamed Mr. Clean for his reputation. He was known as a principle advocate for ethical reforms in Congress and one of the city’s most trustworthy public servants. Charles sponsored legislation creating the House Ethics Committee and served as its first chairman. During his early service, he refused his congressional paycheck, saying he had simple tastes and didn’t need the money.

Charles also served in the US Army in World War II, receiving the silver and bronze stars. He contracted polio during the war while stationed in the Philipines, but was able to walk with two canes. Charles was also a historian and wrote several books on Florida’s early history. He was instrumental in the creation of the Fort Caroline National Memorial in Jacksonville and the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.

Both Charles and Dorothy passed away in 2003. Charles was buried in Arlington National Cemetary. They are survived by their three children: Bruce, James and Lucinda Bennet

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