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Readers of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson will love Dave Lawrence's A Dedicated Life
What are you going to do for the rest of your life? For Dave Lawrence, a brilliant newspaper editor and publisher with a distinguished, three-decade-long journalism career who retired in 1999 at the age of 56, the answer in his words was to dedicate his life to a "newly energized purposefulness: that every child have a real chance to succeed."
The Children's Movement of Florida: As recounted in his autobiography, Dave Lawrence, a life-long champion of children, became a leading national advocate for children and was instrumental in founding The Children's Movement of Florida. The Children's Movement of Florida is a national leader in early childhood development, care and education, with the goal of making Florida the best state in the nation for young children. Dave Lawrence's Movement is focused on making Florida's children, especially in their early years, the No. 1 priority for state investment.
Early child development: "This special book is the story of a good man who has lived an impressive, fascinating, full life dedicated to his family, his profession, his faith and his service to others, especially the youngest and most vulnerable among us. How he describes the passion, persistence and skills of civic engagement to accomplish these building blocks to success is worth the price of the book. To cement and broaden those achievements, Dave created a movement that has converted aspiration to reality and has, is, and will enrich the lives of thousands of the youngest Floridians. He has brought life to the truism of Frederick Douglass, "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
Jeb Bush, Florida's 43rd governor from 1999 to 2007 and 2016 presidential candidate
An autobiography: "Reading Dave Lawrence's autobiography, you will learn a lot - from disemboweling chickens on an upstate New York farm, to the evolution of Miami from Miami Vice to a culturally and economically international city, to the travails of contemporary journalism. Reading this book is like listening to an old friend telling engaging stories while encouraging you to join the conversation. Dave's successful career in journalism is a story of the roller coaster of the American newspaper from the halcyon days of post-World War II to the dramatic changes and decline of today. For more than 40 years, Dave was a journalist, rising from co-editor of his high school newspaper to editor or publisher of several of America's most distinguished newspapers. At each, he inspired the highest standards of journalism built upon a deep immersion into the communities these newspapers served. But the most lasting impression you'll have will be of a highly principled man applying his talents and values in a transitioning America. Ultimately, he elects to transfer his lifelong fascination with journalism to civic advocacy for early childhood learning."
Bob Graham, Florida's 38th governor from 1979 to 1987, U.S. senator from Florida from 1987 to 2005, and presidential candidate in 2003.