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Ken Thompson (1910 – 2001)

Posted By alessandro luchetti, Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ken Thompson (1910 – 2001)

Mr. Thompson was born in the Isle of Pines, in the Caribbean. Descending from

a Scottish father and an Irish mother, he lived in Cuba for many years, until 1922

when he moved to the U.S. Mr. Thompson studied high school in Miami Beach and later on, earned his BS degree in electrical engineering at University of Florida. He was sent to Harvard and MIT for a semester to train in the field of advance military electronics. After serving in the Pacific during World War II, he went back to Miami Beach as city engineer and afterwards as City Manager.

In 1950, he was picked to be the city manager of Sarasota, where he stayed in charge for 38 years (the longest in history).

Mr. Thompson was key to the Sarasota’s development projects of the bay front, Island Park and marina. He also was a founding member of The Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association and president of The Florida City and County Managers Association.

In addition, he helped with the development of the current city hall, and the upgrade of the police force and fire department.

He received, after many years of service to the community, multiple awards such as: Goodwill Industries’ Distinguished Citizen of 1986, Fraternal Order of Police’s Citizen of the Year and Veterans of Foreign wars’ Man of the Year.

I wanted to dedicate this garden to Mr. Thompson, because I believe he has been one of the main characters that made a change in the development of Sarasota.  Living by such values and principles, willing to help citizens and the community, creates a public image everyone should appreciate. It Is because of people like Mr. Thompson that we can live better nowadays, and specially for the services that a city such as Sarasota offer us thanks to him.

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