Hampton Dunn was a native Florida “cracker,” born in Floral City in Citrus County. As a youngster growing up during the Depression, he published a one-page newspaper in his hometown called The Floral City Herald.
He went on to attend Mercer University and the University of Tampa, and then joined the Tampa Daily Times as a cub reporter in 1936. When World War II broke out, he served four years in the Mediteranean Theater as a Major in the Air Force. After the war ended, he returned to the Times and became its managing editor and political writer.
Since the newspaper also owned Tampa’s WDAE, the two worked closely together, and “Hamp” was often heard on the station’s news and public affairs programs, and “election (return) parties.” When the Times merged with the Tampa Tribune in 1958, his newspaper career ended and he turned to television, first as a political commentator with WCKT/Miami, and then as a reporter of Tampa Bay history for WTVT Channel 13.
In his later years, he was senior vice-president of Tampa Bay’s Peninsula Motor Club (AAA) office, editor of its 550,000-circulation publication, “Florida Explorer,” and regularly wrote articles for the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Tribune, and other media. He authored 18 books on the history of the Sunshine State, and has been recognized for his work by the Tampa Historical Society, the Florida Historical Society, and the American Association for State and Local History.
Hampton Dunn, veteran newspaperman, broadcaster, lecturer, and Florida historian, passed away in 2002 at the age of 85.
1936 - 1958 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (News)