Dr. Gerald M. Hollingsworth- US Navy Flight Surgeon(Retired)-Niceville, FL
Education and Training:
- Graduated from high school in Centreville, Mississippi in
- Graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1951-.
- Graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Medicine in
- Completed a surgic3’1 residency in Jacksonville, Florida in
- Completed the course in Aviation Medicine at Pensacola, Florida
Professional and- Employment History:
- Practiced medicine in Fort Walton Beach, Florida from 1960 until 2010
- Medical examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for 50 years.
- Owned and operated several import car dealerships in Fort Walton Beach from 1968 to 1995 while also practicing medicine.
Nominee’s Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans:
- Served veterans and active-duty personnel for ten years as Hospital Commander at Duke Field (Air Force Base) in Okaloosa County, Florida.
- As a physician, he treated thousands of veterans and their family members over a period of 50·years
- As a businessman he provided jobs for veterans and their family members for a period of 50 years.
Civic Activities and Contributions:
- Chairman of the Okaloosa Island Authority for eight Was instrumental in the construction of the Okaloosa Island Pier.
- Founding member of the All-Sports Association that honors outstanding athletes from Northwest Florida.
- Monetary supporter of the athletic programs at Northwest State
- Active supporter of the Salvation Army in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
- Supporter of and volunteer for the Chapter Christmas “Empty Stocking Fund” in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
- Funded a medical clinic for One Hopeful Place-a homeless shelter in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
- Monetary supporter of the University of Mississippi and established the Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship endowment for freshmen with proven academic and leadership potential.
- Served at team physician (pro bono volunteer) for the sports teams of Choctawhatchee High School and Fort Walton Beach High School for 20 years.
- Served as team physician for Florida’s Special Olympics team beginning in 1970.
Awards and Honors:
- Fort Walton Beach Salvation Army facility named “Hollingsworth Hall” in honor of Dr. Hollingsworth’s contributions over the years, his community leadership and most recently by raising funds to restore the hurricane-damaged
- Person of the Year-Northwest Florida Daily News (2019)
- Philanthropy Award University of Mississippi Women’s Council,
- Medical Service Award. American Medical Association, 1960, (for his medical service in Viet Nam.)
- Al Byrne All-Sports Association of Northwest Florida, 1970.
- Outstanding American National Football Association, 1990.
- University of Mississippi Alumni Hall of Fame 1990, and the naming of the University’s football field to be Hollingsworth Field.
Dr. Gerald Hollingsworth is one of those rare individuals who works behind the scenes, refusing to take credit for his activities and contributions to making Florida a better place to live, work and raise a family. For more than fifty years he has quitely and anonymously provided badly-needed support to local charities, organizations and institutions-including veterans and active-duty military personnel and their families that are essential to maintaining and continually improving the quality of life in Northwest Florida. He is known locally as a “silent philanthropist,” an apt description of this man who has given so much to his community and the state of Florida while insisting on anonymity.
In 1970 Okaloosa County’s Special Needs educator, the late Dr. Charlie McFarland, is credited with bringing Special Olympics to Florida. One of the major obstacles to moving this program forward was the need for medical assistance from a team doctor for the first twenty Silver Sands School participants. Dr. Gerald Hollingsworth immediately stepped forward to cover these needs and can justly be proud of a program that now reaches the entire state of Florida and some sixty thousand current participants.
Dr. Hollingsworth exemplifies the kind of individual the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame was established to recognize. After honorably serving his country in uniform, he has served his local community and the state of Florida as a veteran. As a local physician, he has cared for thousands of veterans and their family members. As a businessman, he has provided jobs for hundreds of local citizens. As a philanthropist, he has donated millions of dollars to charitable organizations in Florida.
We are proud to nominate Dr. Gerald Hollingsworth for induction into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame and can think of no individual who is more worthy of this honor.