You can’t think of the Independent Alligator or the Florida Press Association without thinking about Ed Barber. Ed served as the Alligator‘s president and general manager from 1976 until 2007, and the many University of Florida students who worked there were strongly influenced to do great journalism by “Uncle Ed.” Altogether he has been with the newspaper for more than 45 years; he is now president emeritus. He also served concurrently for 18 years as publisher of The High Springs Herald, a nearby community weekly that was owned by the Alligator‘s parent company. He continues as executive director of the Alligator Alumni Association. Before he served on the professional staff, Ed was a student Alligator staff member, and served as its executive editor. While a student, he won the national Hearst Award for editorial writing in 1964. As a college newspaper adviser he was named the nation’s Distinguished Adviser to the College Press in 1978. In 1987 he was named “Mr. Alligator” by the alumni association.
As president and general manager of the Alligator, he was an active member of the Florida Press Association, and served on its board of directors for many years, ultimately serving as it treasurer, vice-president and president. He continues to serve as a trustee of the Florida Press Foundation and the UF Journalism Advisory Council. Ed has also served in additional leadership roles in the College Media Advisers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Florida Scholastic Press Association and Leadership Florida.
Among honors received are the Larry Edwards Crime Fighting Award; Florida Scholastic Press Assn. Gold Medallion; Gov. LeRoy Collins Lifetime Achievement Award; UF Distinguished Alumnus Award, & the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award, Society of Professional Journalists. Barber is a veteran of the USCG and active reserves for eight years, plus an additional year of special active duty after his initial honorable discharge. He is widowed of the former Judy Tuck, his high school sweetheart and wife of 44 years. Since 2009 he has been married to Condesa Magdalena de Leon Orbe Davila. He has two children and four (step) children, three grandchildren and three (step) grandchildren.