Columns

Goodbye, Dan Paul! You Made This Town

So Dan Paul was a little crazy. And the stories of his personal escapades -- sexual and otherwise -- were legendary in this town.

But Paul made modern Miami by writing the county charter in 1957. He was an eccentric genius who, despite earning scads of money, had a wisecrack for every politician in town. He called himself "a public scold" and was the closest this conscienceless city had to a conscience. Guy was born in 1924 and had a joint law and public policy degree from Harvard.

The Miami Herald in its obit cribs from history Paul's two best lines: A pol was "so crooked he had to screw his socks on," and "If Miami thought it could get more on the tax roll, it would construct a whorehouse in Bayfront Park."


Paul was funny and fun to talk to. Reporters at the Herald had him on speed dial for quotes, because in the age when the Everglades was being paved, he pointed out the problems. When Cesar Odio or Donald Warshaw or Sergio Pereira was indicted, he had the quote and the stories that added perspective and a laugh. 

I'll miss Dan Paul. And though we now have an inspector general, the blind lady Justice will too. His funeral is scheduled for this morning at 11 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

It's not too far from the Metro government building -- which Dan built. His family asks that money be donated to the Parkinson Foundation.

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse