Larry Donnell Hardaway, age 67, was born March 7, 1954, in Winter Haven, Florida.
Larry Hardaway attended Winter Haven High School and graduated in 1972. At Winter Haven High School he played four sports; football, basketball, baseball and track. He was the first African American president of a senior class at Winter Haven High School and was named “best all around” as a senior notable. In 1971 he attended the Florida Boys State. He received several recognitions and was one of two nominated as governor of the state conference.
He accepted a football scholarship to study and play football at Davidson College in 1972. He was the third African American to ever play football for Davidson College. He graduated from Davidson in 1976 with a BA degree in Political Science. Larry Hardaway was awarded the James P. Hendrix Award by Davidson College. He was the first African American to receive that award.
In 1976, he attended the University of Florida Law School and graduated in 1979 with a JD degree.
He started his first job at the State Attorney’s Office in Bartow, Florida, in August of 1979, becoming an Assistant State Attorney.
In 1980, at the age of 26, he ran for the Polk County School Board though he lost this first attempt at public office.
In September of 1983, he left Polk County and began working for JESCA Legal Division in Miami, Florida. He eventually became managing attorney of that office where he represented public entities and businesses. At JESCA Legal, he provided legal services for the newly created Business Assistance Center assisting in the creation of small and minority businesses.
In 1984, he received the Dade County Bars Public Interest Law Bank Award for providing legal services to public entities and businesses. For the next three years he provided volunteer service to the City of Opa Locka receiving numerous awards for his service.
In 1988 he returned to Polk County working for the Public Defender’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office. He began private practice in 1992.
In 1994, he was appointed the Florida Elections Commission for a three year term by Governor Lawton Childs.
In 1996, he was an Adjunct Professor instructing business law for Warner Southern College, in Lake Wales, Florida.
In 1998, he was President of the Polk County Voters League.
In February of 2000, he received the Florida Bar’s Pro Bono Award for the 10th Judicial Circuit for providing pro bono services to his community.
In April of 2012, he received the Heman Sweatt Award from the National Bar Association.
In November of 2012, he received the James P Hendrix award from Davidson College.
In June 2013, he was inducted into the Polk County School’s Hall of Fame.
He practiced personal injury law and criminal law at the law firm of Larry D. Hardaway & Associates, P.A. in Lakeland, Florida.
He was married with three adult children, two grandsons and resided in Lakeland, Florida.
• President of Polk County Voters League
• Volunteered as a poll watcher during elections
• Member and Past President of the Virgil Hawkins Bar Association
• Member of the Florida Bar Association
• Member of the Lakeland Bar Association
• Member of the Polk County Criminal Defense Lawyers
• Life Member of the NAACP
• Life Member of Florida A&M University Alumni
• Member of University of Florida Alumni
• Member of the Davidson College Alumni
• Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mu Zeta Lambda chapter
• Member of First Missionary Baptist Church, Winter Haven, FL
• Member of League of Women Voters of Lakeland
• Member of Rose Heights Elk’s Lodge #318
• Member of Citrus Center Boys Club
• Member of Habitat for Humanity
• Member of Lakeland Downtown Kiwanis Club
• Board Member of Polk State College Foundation
• Member of Polk County Inns of Court
• Instructor and Judge for Polk County Teen Court
The Larry D. Hardaway Celebration of Life and Memorial Service for the public will be held on Friday, October 1, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. at Victory Church, 1401 Griffin Road, Lakeland, Florida 33810. Directions