About the Author
A lifetime Floridian and identical twin, Linda Hansen Caldwell, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. As a child, she always loved science. She collected insects that she proudly shared with others, although some of her friends were a little squeamish.
Her father, Harold Hansen, taught her to play horseshoes, and she became a county champion. She also spent a lot of time playing tennis and volleyball. When SEC volleyball was just beginning, Linda proudly wore #20 as a member of the very first Lady Gator volleyball team. As she matured, her stepfather, Robert Knorpp Jr. (“Bobby”) became a very influential person in her life. He taught her to set goals and motivated her to work toward them. Linda admired him greatly and was always able to seek his advice when she needed it. Further, he always believed in her.
A combined interest in biological sciences, health, and physical fitness led her to pursue a career in education. Linda received a BS from the University of Florida’s College of Health and Human Performance. As either a resource or classroom teacher, she taught many subjects in every grade from K–12. She taught health education and science at John Gorrie Jr. High School for seven years and later became a high school teacher. She also edited textbooks and curriculum manuals. Linda was recognized as a respected health educator in Duval County and was named as “One of Florida’s Most Outstanding Secondary Science Teachers” when she was teaching high school science.
When Linda was 16 years old, she began collecting “button pins,” with her collection approaching 5,000. Linda enjoys helping others and can have a difficult time saying “no” whenever and wherever her help is needed—be it at home assisting her family or donating blood at the local blood bank. Among her favorite activities, she most enjoys camping and spending time with her grandchildren. She lives in rural central Florida with her husband, Greg, and her basset hound, Barq’s.
"Linda Caldwell has transformed a nearly forgotten slice of American history into an informative told tale. This well documented and historic account of an overlooked man and his discovery is a tribute to Dr. Gorrie. If you are looking for a better understanding of the historic roots of this important invention and its impact on our world today, you must read this book."
- Toni C. Collins, Florida Historic Researcher, and Author
"Readers will enjoy learning about the accomplishments of Floridian Dr. John Gorrie, an outstanding humanitarian that unselfishly served his fellow man. With a platform as an elected official, he became one of Florida s first public health educators. Recognized as the father of refrigeration and air conditioning, his inventions, quite literally, changed our world."
-Mrs. Jean Powell, John Gorrie Jr. High School Media Specialist and faculty member, 1954-1992
"The University of Florida College of Medicine recognizes Dr. John Gorrie as a true renaissance man. We have established an award in his honor that is presented each year to the graduating senior who shows the greatest potential of becoming a physician of the highest caliber. Through the years, the John Gorrie Award has become the single most prestigious honor bestowed on a senior student. In essence, it is the medical version of the Heisman Trophy."
-Patrick Duff, M.D., Associate Dean for Student Affairs, The University of Florida College of Medicine
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