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Florida Forum Announces Speakers

Political, Entertainment Stars Align for 17th Annual Fundraiser

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Seven stars of film, radio and politics make the lineup of speakers for the 17th annual Florida Forum's 2008-2009 series. Presented by the Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the four-event series brings world leaders, entertainers and experts to the Jacksonville to raise funds - $4.5 million to date - for new medical equipment, programs and facilities. This year, funds will allow for a new clinical state-of-the art Behavioral Health Unit for children and adolescents facing surgeries, chronic and terminal illnesses, and other psychological issues. The Florida Theatre hosts each event at 7:00 p.m.

Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss, Tuesday, Oct. 7

Photo courtesy the Florida Forum
What makes a great U.S. President? According to Beschloss, the answer is "presidential courage: the willingness to take a political risk that might end a president's career-and the wisdom to do that for reasons that later Americans will admire." His lecture is based on his book, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 and compares the outstanding traits of America's most historic leaders with those of the current crop of presidential candidates.

Comedian Dennis Miller, Thursday, November 6

Photo courtesy the Florida Forum
Five-time Emmy Award-winning commedian Dennis Miller parlayed his Saturday Night Live sting into a string of scathingly funny talk shows, including HBO's Dennis Miller Live, which enjoyed a near-decade run. Today, Miller hosts The Dennis Miller Show on Westwood One radio stations nationwide.

A Conversation with Ron Howard and Charlie Rose, Saturday, January 17

Photo courtesy the Florida Forum
Oscar-winning director and producer Ron Howard is a Hollywood powerhouse, turning out box office hits like "Apollo 13," "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Da Vinci Code." At press time, Howard is in post-production on "Frost/Nixon," a dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. Charlie Rose is the Emmy-winning journalist and host of PBS' "Charlie Rose." Lauded as one of America's premier interviwers, Rose regularly engages the nation's top writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, business leaders, scientists and other newsmakers from his across his familiar round oak table.

A Roundtable of David Gergen, Jim Lehrer and George Stephanopoulos, February 3

Photo courtesy the Florida Forum
David Gergen served as a presidential advisor to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He is editor-at-large for US News & World Report and a senior political analyst for CNN, while serving as a professor of public service at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and director of its Center for Public Leadership. Jim Lehrer, a decades-long institution at PBS co-founded and continues to host the nation's first 60-minute evening newscast. George Stephanopoulos is a New York Times best-selling author, chief Washington correspondent for ABC News and anchor of its Sunday morning news show, "This Week"

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