William F. Poe - 53rd Mayor Of Tampa

William F. Poe - 53rd Mayor Of Tampa

William Poe

Born: July 22, 1931

Term: October 3, 1974 - October 3, 1979

Born in the Seminole Heights section of Tampa, Florida, William Poe attendedBroward and Seminole Elementary Schools, Memorial Junior High and HillsboroughHigh School. He was president of the student body and president of the key cluband treasurer of the senior class. After high school, Poe attended DukeUniversity and, later, the University of Florida where he received a B.A. inBusiness Administration. He also served in the Air Force. In 1956, Poe returnedto Tampa where he established the W.F. Poe Insurance Company. Poe becameinvolved in civic activities and, later, local politics.

In October 1974, William Poe successfully campaigned formayor against Bob Martinez. Poe initiated a major revitalization of downtownTampa which included the negotiation of an agreement to construct a state office building on Franklin Street.As part of his revitalization campaign, Poe secured the CityCouncil's approval to invest $20 million in public works programs thatincludedstreet and drainage improvements, a city hall annex, and a riverside culturalcenter. He also persuaded City Council to implement a $35 million dollar program to expand theTampa's water system toavoid the shortages that had previously occurred. Poe  cracked down on thegrowing number of massageparlors, prostitution and street people. To strengthen the presence of police he outfitted the department with a new fleet of patrol cars. Poe alsoestablished an information and complaint service for the public to notify thecity on everything from street crime to water problems. 

After his term as mayor ended, Poe returned to the insurancebusiness. He and Betty Poe have five children. William F. Poe, Sr., is presentlythe Chairman of the Florida-based property and casualty insurance company, ofPoe & Associates which he founded in 1996. It is the largest property andcasualty insurance agency based in the State of Florida and the 12th largest in the United States


Sources for this Biographical Sketch:

Covington, Dr. James W. and Wavering, Debbie Lee, "The Mayors of Tampa:A Brief Administrative History," Tampa, FL: University of Tampa, 1987.

Mayors' Papers, City of Tampa Archives, Tampa,