Fort Walton Beach is a town in the northern Panhandle of Florida, on the Emerald Coast.

The land was settled in 1838, at the time known as "Anderson." 

Today, Fort Walton Beach is known for its beaches, as a fishing destination, for its resorts, summer holiday venues, and Air Force base.

People Born in Fort Walton Beach

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Fort Walton Beach in People's Lives

Hunter S. Thompson: I was transferred to the Eglin Air Force Base here from Belleville, Illinois, in 1956, at the age of 19. While serving at the base, I also took evening classes at Florida State University. Additionally, I landed my first writing job, as a sports editor for The Command Courier, by lying about my previous work experience. I often covered the Eglin Eagles, a football team of the air force base, and thus reported on future football stars Bart Starr, Zeke Bratkowski, and Max McGee. In 1957, I earned a place writing my own sports column in The Playground News, a local paper. However, just as my other sports writing job had not been earned completely legitimately, neither was this one - I had to give a fake name and keep my writing a secret, as the Air Force did not allow pilots to hold civilian jobs. However, in 1958, I was asked to leave the Air Force, at the age of 21. I was officially given an honorable discharge, and my commanding officer stated that "although talented, this airman will not be guided by policy." I was called a "rebel" and was said to have a "superior attitude" in an official Eglin report. I moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania to accept a job as a sports editor at a newspaper.

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