John D. “Jack” Gurnett (1904-1968)
Florida Citrus Reporter
Florida Citrus Festival
Florida Citrus Mutual
Citrus Industry Magazine
Born in 1904, John D. “Jack” Gurnett’s involvement with the Florida citrus industry began when he moved his family to Winter Haven, Florida, in 1938. In 1940, Gurnett established the Florida Citrus Reporter, the purpose of which was to print the “news behind the news” of the citrus industry. Gurnett’s aim was to keep growers informed in the days before Florida Citrus Mutual was established. At that time many growers were not aware of the inner-workings of their industry.
While he published the weekly Reporter, Gurnett also supported the Florida Citrus Festival as well as the creation of Florida Citrus Mutual. Gurnett’s writing also appeared in other trade magazines, such as the Produce News and eventually Citrus Industry Magazine.
When Gurnett passed away in 1968, his daughter Nancy Gurnett Hardy continued the publication. In recognition of his many years of service to the Florida citrus industry, Jack Gurnett was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 1993. Gurnett was the first journalist inducted into the Citrus Hall of Fame. In 2002, his daughter, Nancy Gurnett Hardy was also inducted into the Citrus Hall of Fame, making them the first father-daughter pair to be inducted.