Marvin Hughitt Walker (1901-1983)
Hillsborough Citrus Growers Association
Florida Citrus Exchange
Florida Citrus Commission
Florida Citrus Producers Trade Association (Florida Citrus Mutual)
Florida Citrus Canners Cooperative
Citrus Central, Inc.
Florida Canners Association
Florida Grower Magazine
Marvin Hughitt Walker was born in 1901 in Maywood, Illinois. When Walker was 19, his family moved to Florida in order to start a citrus grove.
Walker’s first career in the newspaper industry came in 1925 when he became the editor of Florida Grower Magazine. While working with the magazine, Walker also served as the President of the Hillsborough Citrus Growers’ Association. Beginning in 1935 he worked as the first publicity director for the Florida Citrus Exchange. Eventually he was promoted to the assistant general manager of the Florida Citrus Exchange. Walker was selected twice to be the Florida Citrus Commissioner. He also served as the general manager of the Florida Citrus Producers Trade Association, the organization that preceded Florida Citrus Mutual.
Walker’s leadership in the post-war years was critical to ensuring that the Florida citrus industry would not collapse. Absent the war-effort, demand for citrus decreased and Florida growers were left with a glut of fruit and trees. Walker helped to organize leaders in the citrus and banking industries in order to stabilize prices and ensuring growers maintained quality and received fair prices.
In 1949 Walker was selected to be the general manager of the Florida Citrus Canners Cooperative, where he later served as the executive vice president. Walker was also instrumental in the creation and organization of Citrus Central, where he served as a director; as well as serving as a director and president of the Florida Canners Association.
In 1952 Walker published an article in the Orlando Sentinel-Star that called for changes in Florida grapefruit promotion in order to ensure reasonable prices for consumers and growers alike. Walker was a life-long supporter of fair prices for both the growers and the consumers.
Walker’s service in many important roles in the citrus industry provided important leadership and was a significant factor in aiding the industry’s growth. In honor of Walker’s many years of service to the citrus industry, he was inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame in 1974. Marvin H. Walker passed away in 1983.