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Robert H. Gore papers

Identifier: 1990.7

Scope and Contents

The Robert H. Gore papers contains the political, personal, and business papers of Robert Hayes Gore (b.1886 – d. 1972). The collection, which dates from 1929 – 1976, consists of correspondence, scrapbooks, newspapers and newspaper clippings, books, pamphlets, catalogs, photographs, memorabilia, framed items, certificates, business papers, legal documents, and interview transcripts, evidencing Robert H. Gore’s political, civic, entrepreneurial, and personal connections and activities. The collection documents Gore’s political involvement in national politics from the 1920s through the 1940s, including his involvement in the Democratic National Convention, appointment as Governor of Puerto Rico during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his interest in South Florida’s politics and development through the 1960s. Letters and newspaper clippings in the collection contain information about R.H. Gore’s many professional careers, including information about his newspaper businesses and real estate ventures. Additionally, the collection contains documents and correspondence concerning R.H. Gore’s semi-professional hobby of growing and promoting orchids. Included are clippings of the many editorials which Gore wrote during WWII.


  • 1929-1978

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Robet H. Gore was a newspaper publisher who played a major role in the development of South Florida and served as the 11th civilian governor of Puerto Rico from July 1933 to January 1934. Robert Hayes Gore, Sr. was born in 1886 in Knottsville, Kentucky. His father died when he was at the age of nine, and his mother worked in pants factory to support her children. After graduating high school, Gore attended the University of Kentucky. He became associated with the Scripps-Howard newspapers in 1907 as a reporter. Gore earned a position as managing editor of the Evansville, Indiana Press before he became the publisher of the Terra Haute Post (Indiana) in 1916. As publisher, he developed his idea for a direct marketing life insurance program, “giving away” $1,000 travel life insurance policies with the purchase of a new newspaper subscription. Gore left the Terra Haute Post in 1921 after the life insurance-newspaper subscription program became wildly successful. Gore founded his own insurance company to function alongside newspaper businesses, the North American Accident Insurance Co., and his insurance-newspaper subscription program was bought by over 1,000 other newspapers. Within a year he was worth millions of dollars, and established a publishing house in Terra Haute, and the insurance business moved to Chicago. In the spring of 1929, R.H. Gore took a trip to visit a publishing friend in Tampa, and while there received a letter from Tom Tilwell, the owner of the Ft. Lauderdale Daily News concerning his life insurance-newspaper subscription program. Tilwell offered to sell Gore the paper, and R.H. Gore bought the Daily News effective April 1, 1929. Shortly after that purchase, Gore split his time between Terra Haute and Fort Lauderdale, and eventually moved to Florida full-time, where he expanded his businesses. During his tenure as managing editor of the Terra Haute Post, Gore became increasingly involved in local and national politics, and wrote novels and newspaper columns. During the 1920 presidential campaign, Gore ran an article in favor of then vice-presidential candidate Franklin Delano Roosevelt predicting he would become president. R.H. Gore went on to serve as a member of the Democratic National Executive Committee and as finance chairman for FDR’s 1932 campaign. Gore was appointed Governor of Puerto Rico in 1933. He arrived at the island in July, and served until he resigned in December 1933, which became effective in 1934. Gore, however, remained politically influential through the 1930s and a major conservative commentator on the United States’ involvement in World War II. As Gore’s newspaper network and business interests in South Florida grew, he also became a patriarchal figure in Fort Lauderdale politics. Gore’s business interests in Fort Lauderdale real estate, for instance, began with the purchase of the unfinished Wilmar Hotel, which Gore developed into the Governor’s Club Hotel which quickly became a Fort Lauderdale icon after it opened in December 1937. Gore successfully sued Fred Howland Inc. for poor-quality workmanship on the Governor’s Club Hotel, a case which became an important precedent in Florida State law. Gore’s sons served as leaders for many of the businesses that Robert H. Gore Sr. founded. In 1963, Gore sold the Daily News and the Sun Sentinel along with several other Florida newspapers he had acquired. Gore’s wife Lenora died in 1964. Robert H. Gore died December 27, 1972 in the Governor’s Club Hotel after a lengthy illness and was survived by his seven sons and two daughters.


5 Hollinger Boxes

Language of Materials


Processing Information

This collection received container level processing. This finding aid may be updated to reflect new descriptions as well as aquisitions to the collection.

The Robert H. Gore papers
Bonnie Struckholz
June 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script

Repository Details

Part of the Broward County Historical Archives Repository

100 S Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale Florida 33301 United States