Leland M. Hawes, Jr.

Leland M. Hawes, Jr.

Lee was known as "Mr. AAPA" for over sixty years due to his involvement in association affairs. Here's how he described himself in November 2005:

I joined AAPA in 1942, one of several Florida "boy editors" publishing local newspapers. The Flint Lake Diver was soon supplanted by The Gator Growl, which has been appearing in AAPA bundles spasmodically ever since.

I became official editor in 1946, when I was a senior in high school, and president in 1949, when I was a senior at the University of Florida. I attended my first AAPA "convention" (it was held jointly with another group, now defunct) and have attended more than 50 since then.

I remember making a brief talk at the 1947 Roanoke convention and saying, "Amateur journalism has become a part of my life." And it has, even though I went on to spend 55 years as a professional newspaper writer.

The history of the hobby always has fascinated me, and I have accumulated several thousand amateur journals -- some dating back to the 1870s -- through the years. If I can ever get them organized to some extent, they will be donated to the special collections library at the University of South Florida.

The Gator Growl has evolved from a one-page mimeographed journal into a sometimes hefty printed journal. Issue No. 102 appeared in October, and I'm hopeful it will appear more regularly henceforth.

The current term will be my fourth stint as AAPA president.

You can view pictures of Lee, mainly taken at AAPA conventions.

Here are several of Lee's essays that won AAPA laureate award recognition:
  1961: "The Good Years"
  1970-71: "That Operation"
  1982-83: "A Gathering of the Klan"
  1986-87: "Kelsey to the Rescue"

Two profiles of Lee were published by Leslie W. Boyer in The Echo Number 71 for May 1965:
  "A Leader of this World" by Tom Whitbread
  "From Thonotosassa to Tampa" by L. V. Heljeson

On their website, The Fossils, the historians of amateur journalism, has a page about Lee, winner of that group's 1981 Gold Composing Stick and 2003 Russell L. Paxton Award. They also produced a special issue of The Fossil (issue 356 for June 2013) in memory of Lee.

When Lee died on May 18, 2013, his loss was felt not only in the fraternity of amateur journalism but also throughout the Tampa Bay Area. He was remembered as a talented newspaper professional, Tampa's unofficial historian, and a true gentleman. Here are some links to articles written about him:

The Tampa Tribune, where Lee worked for 52 years, wrote several articles related to Lee:
  The main obituary: Hawes was consummate journalist, gentleman
  An editorial: The gentleman in the newsroom
  An account of his memorial service: Stories recount life of Tampa journalist Leland Hawes
  A tribute from a former Tampa mayor: The lasting gift of Leland Hawes
  Columnist Steve Otto reminisces: Traveling with Leland Hawes was trip for the ages
  Back in 2009, Steve Otto reported on Lee's 80th birthday: The man from Flint Lake
  His obituary from the funeral home: Leland M. Hawes Jr.

The Tampa Bay Times also paid tribute:
  Tampa historian Leland Hawes dies at 83
  Farewell Leland Hawes, my mentor and friend

Several of Lee's "History & Heritage" columns are available on-line:
  How a birthday cake provided Arcadia a name , September 23, 1990
  B-17 crashed in West Tampa, Bomber plowed into street in '44 , September 19, 1993
  A Streetcar Named Nostalgia , July 7, 2002

The Tampa Book Arts Studio has a couple of blog entries related to Lee:
  With Great Thanks To Leland Hawes
  Farewell to a Gentleman Printer

The Tampa Bay History Center offers an annual Leland Hawes Prize in Florida History

In 2002, Lee was interviewed by the University of Florida's Florida Newspapers Oral History Collection

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