Alvin Victor Burt, Jr. (1927-2008), better known as Al Burt, a reporter, editor, and columnist for The Miami Herald, was born Sept. 11, 1927, in Oglethorpe County, Georgia and grew up at the family home in Jacksonville, Florida. In later life, he prided himself on being both a native Georgian and a native Floridian. He always described Florida as home, however, and would immortalize its people and places in his newspaper column "Al Burt's Florida" and in his feature stories in Tropic magazine.

When they weren't traveling the state in search of news stories, he and his wife Gloria resided at their lake-side home in Melrose, Florida. Burt was the author of five books. Three of them, anthologies of his writings on Florida, he considered a trilogy: Becalmed in the Mullet Latitudes, Al Burt's Florida, and Tropic of Cracker. These selections from his public talks draw on his life experience as a reporter and writer. For more information on Al Burt, go to the Finding Guide for his papers and recorded interviews, which are maintained at the George A. Smathers Library on the campus of the University of Florida, Burt's alma mater.

Design and content by James Cusick, Rachel Walton, Philip Durnin, and Marijka Willis. Artwork provided by James Burt and Gloria Burt, with additional original photography by Marijka Willis.

On Reporting and Writing

Florida's Future: Challenges and Hopes

Understanding Florida

Call to Environmentalism

Tropic of Cracker

Other Topics