The Florida Women’s Hall of Fame began in 1982 under the aegis of the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, a body that was appointed by Governor Bob Graham. A total of 27 women were selected as members of the Hall of Fame in 1982, 1984 and 1986.
In 1992, Governor Lawton Chiles proposed, and the Legislature passed, a bill (CSSB 1148) that created a permanent Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. Chapter 92-48 of the Laws of Florida now states: “It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize and honor those women who, through their works and lives, have made significant improvement of life for women and for all citizens of Florida.”
In addition to creating clear criteria for additions to the Hall, this legislation mandated the inclusion of women who had been honored in the previous decade. The project became a responsibility of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, an entity that consists of appointees of the Governor, Cabinet members, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate.
Because education is one important purpose of the Hall of Fame, CSSB 1148 provided display space in the Florida Capitol. In 1994, the Commission unveiled plaques that offer a brief biography and photograph of each honoree. We hope that this information will inspire young women and those who teach girls. Please note that the biographies were created at the date of induction.
Since 1992, three women have been inducted into the Hall each year. Nominations may be made between April 1 and July 15. The Commission appreciates public input that assists us in honoring meritorious women and in educating the public on the significant and varied accomplishments of women in Florida’s history.