Miami’s Walking Encyclopedia

Paul George at Cocoplovis Mansion on Brickell Ave in 1988Dr. Paul George at Cocoplovis Mansion on Brickell Ave in 1988

One of the most common requests from our members is to hear the story of how Dr. Paul George became a Florida historian. In particular, people want to know how Paul made a career combining his interest in history with a love for his home town.

Episode 16 is Paul’s story. In this episode he shares how an evolving passion for history was merged with an entrepreneurial spirit to build his brand as “Miami’s Walking Encyclopedia”. While there are other historians who have done an excellent job writing books and articles on South Florida and its past, Paul took his craft to the streets and waterways to bring history to life.

The oldest son of an immigrant father, Paul was born in Miami in 1942. His parents moved to Miami from Philadelphia in search of opportunity. His father worked a variety of jobs to support the family. His mother provided guidance and discipline at home.

Paul has fond memories of growing up in the Shenandoah neighborhood and attending school at the nearby Saint Peter & Paul Catholic School. He still maintains a strong bond with his childhood friends and with the neighborhood in which he was raised.

It wasn’t until he went to high school that he began to develop an aptitude in history. Taking his education much more serious in college, he began to develop an interest for local history. While working on his thesis, he began to learn about the fascinating places, events and people that comprise Miami’s history. This set the foundation for his career in Florida history.

Through a variety of career opportunities, Paul became aware of his gift to tell stories and conduct tours. He partnered with the Museum of South Florida History (now HistoryMiami), in 1988, and has been conducting boat, bus and walking tours of different parts of Miami and South Florida ever since.

Enjoy the “Making of a Historian” as Dr. Paul George shares his very personal story!

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