In Memoriam

Joe Brown Former Secretary of the Florida Senate Joe Brown died April 16th in Tallahassee. In 1974, Brown became the 40th Secretary of the Florida Senate. He served for 22 years, retiring in 1996. Brown was 88.  

Michael Collins Astronaut Michael Collins died of cancer at the age of 90 on April 28th. Collins piloted NASA’s Apollo 11 command module during its successful moon landing mission in July, 1969. While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon, Collins remained in the module and some called him “the loneliest man in history”. Over his career he flew into space twice, orbiting the moon thirty times and becoming the fourth person to perform a spacewalk.  

Alcee Hastings Democratic U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings died April 6th from pancreatic cancer. Hastings was appointed as a federal judge in 1979 by then-President Jimmy Carter. He was indicted in 1981 by a grand jury after an investigation into allegations that he solicited a bribe for reducing sentences of two felons. Hastings was acquitted of criminal charges, but the U.S. House later impeached him, and the Senate removed him from office. Then, in 1992, Hastings was elected to Congress and at the time of his death was the longest-serving member of Florida’s congressional delegation. He was 84.  

Joseph Hatchett Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Joseph Hatchett died in Tallahassee on April 30th. Born in Clearwater, Hatchett graduated from Florida A&M University and earned his law degree from Howard University School of Law. He was the first Black justice on the Florida Supreme Court, appointed by Governor Reubin Askew in 1975. Then-President Jimmy Carter named him to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1979, making Hatchett the first African American to serve in a federal circuit in the South. Hatchett will lie in state May 7th in the rotunda of the Florida Supreme Court. He was 88.  

Walter Mondale Former Vice President Walter Mondale died on April 19th at the age of 93. Mondale served as a Democratic U.S. Senator from Minnesota for 12 years and for four years as Jimmy Carter’s vice president. When he ran for president in 1984, he was the first presidential candidate to select a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, to be his running mate.