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Former Fla. Surpreme Court Justice McDonald dies at 93

McDonald served as Florida Supreme Court chief justice in the 1980s.

Former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Parker Lee McDonald died at his Tallahassee home Saturday at 93, the court announced.

He was Florida's 68th Justice since statehood.

"Justice McDonald was a major influence in shaping the future of the Court after the sweeping reforms of the 1970s," said current Chief Justice Jorge Labarga. "He and the group of Justices placed on the Court during that era helped transform it into the respected tribunal it is today."

McDonald served on the court from Oct,. 26, 1979 to his retirement on May 31, 1994. He served at chief justice from 1986-88.

Born in Sebring, McDonald attended the University of Florida and later received his degree from its law school in 1950 after service in the U.S. Army interrupted his studies. He later went into private practice in Orlando with a firm that eventually became Gurney McDonald & Handley.

McDonald was appointed to the Ninth Judicial Circuit bench in 1961 and served there until his appointment to the Florida Supreme Court in 1979 by then-Gov. Bob Graham.