Former Tampa mayor William Poe dead at age 82 - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Former Tampa mayor William Poe dead at age 82

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William Poe. File photo. William Poe. File photo.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Former Tampa mayor William Poe died Friday at the age of 82.

Poe was born in Seminole Heights in 1931. He attended Duke University and the University of Florida, where he received a B.A. in Business Administration. Poe also served in the Air Force.

In 1974, Poe defeated Bob Martinez to become mayor of Tampa. Poe served as mayor from October 3, 1974 - October 3, 1979. As mayor, he presided over a campaign to revitalize the downtown area. Poe also strengthened the police force and expanded Tampa's water system.

After his term ended, Poe returned to the insurance business, founding Poe & Associates in 1996. According to the City of Tampa's website, it is the largest property and casualty insurance agency based in the State of Florida and the 12th largest in the United States.

He and wife Betty Poe have five children.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn released the following statement Friday in reaction to Poe's passing:

“Tampa has lost one of its greatest citizens – a true Tampanian who loved this city and his community. As mayor, he ushered in the city we know today - investing in our critical infrastructure, strengthening our first responders, and laying the groundwork to activate our downtown.

“Each mayor in their own way left a lasting legacy on this City. I only wish he would be able to stand with us this fall to see the Tampa Riverwalk come to fruition 40 years after he initiated the project.”

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