A Bradenton treasure: Edgar H. Price Jr., 1918-2012

December 5, 2012 

Few Americans reach the pinnacle of public admiration like Edgar H. Price Jr. The beloved Bradenton community leader passed away Saturday night at age 94.

His compassion and kindness left an indelible mark on those graced with his friendship. His dedication to his wife and family also stood out, as longtime friends attest.

Truly, his was a life well lived. His story in short form follows a remarkable line of personal achievement and public success.

A stellar high school athlete in football, basketball and tennis. Student body president.

U.S. Army combat pilot commanding bomber missions over Europe during World War II.

Florida state senator representing Bradenton from 1958 to 1966.

Tropicana executive and board member, just one of the many corporate panels he served. Member of the Manatee County Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church of Bradenton for 25 years and parishioner there for many more decades.

Past president of both the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. Former chairman of the Manatee County Board of School District Trustees, and a staunch supporter of education, especially Manatee Community College. One of his many awards -- the Manatee County Branch of the NAACP Statesmanship in Human Affairs Award -- honors his fight against segregation.

Several close and longtime friends describe his character and personality in glowing terms.

"... one of the warmest, nicest human beings I have ever known. I had enormous personal respect for him." -- former Florida Gov. Reubin O'D. Askew, who served with Sen. Price in the Legislature.

A "great human being ... There are many who call him their mentor." -- Ed Dick, a fellow Bradenton resident with a remarkable record of community service.

Sen. Price created so much goodwill that his name graces several major awards. He was the first recipient of the Edgar H. Price Humanitarian Award presented by the Palmetto Youth Center.

The Edgar H. Price Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award honors its recipient for their philanthropy, leadership and community dedication. Sponsored by the Manatee County Rural Health Services Foundation, the honor celebrates someone who makes a difference in the community -- a very appropriate tribute to Sen. Price.

His legacy will live on for generations to come.

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