Governor Rick Scott Presents Justice Alto Lee Adams Sr. with Prestigious “Great Floridian” Award

Today, during the Florida Cabinet meeting, Governor Rick Scott presented a “Great Floridian” award to Alto Lee Adams III and Mike Adams on behalf of their father and former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Alto Lee Adams. Justice Adams served on the Florida Supreme Court from 1940 to 1951 and 1967 to 1968. He also served as Chief Justice from 1949 to 1951. Prior to his involvement with the Florida Supreme Court, Justice Adams served the community of St. Lucie County as a circuit court judge. Justice Adams was dedicated to civil rights issues, advocated for individual property rights, and authored several publications on the history and philosophy of the legal profession.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Justice Adams was an active leader in Florida and St. Lucie County. He served for many years on the Florida State Supreme Court, while also supporting Florida families through active involvement with local community efforts. Justice Adams advocated for equal rights for all, and left a lasting legacy in Florida. I am honored to recognize Justice Adams, Sr. with the Great Floridian Award.”

Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court Ricky Polston said, “Justice Adams served many years ago on the Florida Supreme Court and was well recognized as a lawyer, trial judge and cattle rancher as well as a justice and chief justice.”

Justice Adams was also an active member of his community and served on the Florida State Elks Association and as Vice Chair of the State Welfare Board. He supported local business interests in St. Lucie County. In 1937, he started a cattle ranch named Adams Ranch in St. Lucie County, which remains family-operated today. On December 17, 2012, a ceremony was held in Fort Pierce to name the “Alto Lee Adams, Sr. U.S. Courthouse” in his honor.

Alto Lee Adams, III, Grandson of Justice Adams and Vice President of Adams Ranch said, “He was true to the Law and Constitution. He loved his family and the great state of Florida.”

The “Great Floridian” designation is given in recognition of the outstanding achievements of men and women who have made significant contributions to the progress and welfare of Florida.

Only 75 individuals since 1981 have been given this distinct honor, and those honorees represent former governors, civil rights activists, military heroes, Florida Supreme Court Justices and others. Governor Scott has presented 18 great Floridians with this prestigious award so far this year.


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