After attending Harvard and joining The Harvard Crimson newspaper, Waldo Proffit jr. served in WWII, thwarting German transmission codes. After the war, Proffit found his concentration in a different kind of communications work— returning to his passion for news writing. Proffit circled the country before making his way to our own Sarasota Herald-Tribune, where he was hired on as editor-in-chief in 1961. Under the guidance of the Lindsay family, Proffit took notice of the environmental toll of development in Sarasota and surrounding counties. Waldo Proffit jr. was an essential figure in the regulation of the phosphate mining industry in Florida, the primary supplier of phosphate in the US.
Student Interviewer: Julianne Ohanian
Julianne Ohanian is beginning senior thesis work at New College of Florida, studying issues of diversity within charter schools and privatization of education. In collecting oral history, she has been able to put much of her training doing social science research to practice. Through this kind of work, Julianne has been able to connect to Sarasota and to greater Florida by experiencing its history as told by someone who has actively determined the course of that history. Julianne intends to eventually teach students in a similar way, connecting their academic studies to their communities, their environments, and to their personal lives.
Posted in: 2013