Gary Mormino, author of the iconic Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams, has won the Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing from the Florida Humanities Council for his “distinguished body of work that has had a major influence on Floridians.”

Mormino joined the faculty of the University of South Florida in 1977. He is the co-founder of the Florida Studies Program at USF St. Petersburg and the Frank E. Duckwall Florida professor of history emeritus. Although he retired from USF St. Petersburg in 2012, Mormino continues to teach a class at the university and serves as a scholar in residence for the Florida Humanities Council. Over the years, he has frequently contributed to the Tampa Bay Times, the New Yorker, and the New York Times.

His most renowned work, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams, was published by the University Press of Florida in 2008. “A brilliant compilation of data, it will be the standard against which all future such efforts in Florida will be measured,” said Michael Gannon, the first winner of the FHC’s award.

Mormino also co-authored The Immigrant World of Ybor City, which received the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Book Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society in 1987. His other works include Immigrants on the Hill (1986), Spanish Pathways in Florida (1992), and Italians in Florida (2008).

Mormino has been honored by the FHC in the past, when he was the first to receive the council’s Humanist of the Year award in 2003. In 2012, he was named a “Florida Icon” by Florida Trend and in the same year Mormino received the Florida House Distinguished Author award.

Subsequent to his winning the lifetime achievement award, USF St. Petersburg created the Gary Mormino Fund to support the Florida Studies Program that Mormino founded.

We extend our congratulations to Gary Mormino for his many accomplishments that have earned him this prestigious award.




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