Roy Erickson Collection: Fort Lauderdale, the Famous and the Familiar, 1969-1981
This set of images chronicles life in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, as seen through the eyes and camera of photojournalist Roy Erickson.

Featured in the photographs are celebrities and school kids, politicians and socialites, resorts, malls, and the latest in home furnishings. All document a growing city that was both a destination for the famous and powerful and a place where people lived and worked every day, including the photographer himself.

Professional photographer Roy Erickson was affiliated with the Best of Broward magazine for over 10 years and was the photographer for the Pine Crest School, a college preparatory school founded by Mae McMillan in the 1930s to educate the children of winter residents.
 
The actors, athletes, musicians, and comedians pictured in the collection include Joe Namath, Kirk Douglas, Duke Ellington, Liza Minnelli, Clint Eastwood, Lloyd Bridges, Tom Jones, Susan Hayward, Dinah Shore, Luciano Pavarotti, Chris Evert, Ed McMahon, and Johnny Carson.

Fort Lauderdale hosted golf tournaments, political fundraisers, and charity events at its luxurious resorts, as well as providing a refuge for celebrities from the spotlights of Hollywood and New York. Although already a hot spot for wealthy vacationers and celebrities, the Fort Lauderdale shown in Erickson’s photos is less developed than the city that now greets millions of tourists each year. Cars cruising down the A1A are shown in front of expanses of open beach, as is Lake Mayan before some of larger hotels that dominate the space today were built.  
 
In December 2005, Roy Erickson died at age 76 in Asheville, North Carolina. After the death of Erickson’s widow the following year, a neighbor of the Erickson family told the State Archives of Florida about the assortment of photos that the family was considering tossing out. The family agreed to donate the photos, and the State Archives gladly accepted the collection of more than 2,000 images, many of which are still being identified. 
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