A marine biologist? Envrionmental pioneer? SWFL historical figure?
While devouring Yucatan shrimp at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, I found myself wondering, who is Doc Ford?
Who Is Doc Ford?
I always assumed he was a marine biologist or environmental pioneer of Southwest Florida history.
Come to find out… yes and no. Marion “Doc” Ford is actually a fictional character in the Doc Ford’s Novel series by local Sanibel resident and New York Times bestselling author, Randy Wayne White.
A lightbulb in my head went off when I learned this – “Ah, that’s why people ask if I have read the books!” I figured they meant the history books. A little embarrassed but too curious to care, I dove deeper to learn more.
Don’t Be Let Down
I admit, I was a little sad to learn there wasn’t a real Doc Ford in Southwest Florida history. But don’t let that taint your view of the Doc Ford legend!
Randy incorporates many factual details in his novels, which help paint a true historical perspective of our area. Carefully drafted storylines highlight many of our local environmental pains and pleasures, making these novels not only entertaining but also educational.
Photo Taken From Randy Wayne White’s Facebook Page
Maybe the better question is, who is Randy Wayne White?
Randy describes himself as a tropical bum, one who prefers wilderness and empty beaches to fantasy resorts. I’m sure we can all relate, after all, that’s why we chose Sanibel.
In the 80’s, Randy was a local fishing guide in Tarpon Bay before the federal government closed the waters to power boating. When they did, he was out of a job and began pursuing his passion for writing. Now, twenty-six (26) Doc Ford Novels later, I think it’s safe to say he found success!
Ask any local and they’ll tell you Doc Ford is considered a legend in Southwest Florida. While the characters and storyline are mostly fictional, the Doc Ford legacy is legitimately felt when you visit the area, and the Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille in particular.
Where can you find the Doc Ford Novels?
Everywhere! He’s a New York Times bestselling author. We encourage you to pick up a hard copy at a local bookstore, of course. It adds a special connection when reading on the beaches of Sanibel or out on our local waterways.
Click the link below to visit Randy’s website and read more about Doc Ford. www.randywaynewhite.com/about-doc-ford