Friends and family will honor the life of a former Florida House Lawmaker Tuesday in Tallahassee. Don Hazelton died Friday morning at the age of 83. While Don Hazelton served in the Florida Legislature for several years, he’s also remembered for his work in the Florida boxing industry.
Hazelton served in the Florida House for eight years between 1970 and 1978. During that time, he served his first two terms as a Republican and his last two as a Democrat. But, some people, like Paul Ledford, remember Hazelton more in his role as the Director of the Florida Boxing Commission between 1987 and 1996.
“I encountered him when I was working at the Department of Business Regulation. For one reason or another, he would always stop and talk to people. He would always know everybody’s name," said Ledford. "The thing I remember the most was him talking about Don King, and these various different historic figures in boxing that he talked to and their antics. He would always draw a crowd when he was telling a story.”
Ledford adds Hazelton was also known for his reforms in the state’s boxing industry, like adding stricter rules and regulations.
“He was a guy who took his job in terms of doing the right thing, but he didn’t take himself too seriously, which is the nice combination," said Ledford. "He was able to get the job done and get things corrected and fixed and done the right way, according to the law, nothing more, and nothing less, and that was really his goal.”
Hazelton was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010. He had multiple health problems, including lung and throat cancer and suffered a stroke in July. He is survived by his wife and two sons. He died at the age of 83.
The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Culley’s Funeral Home, Riggins Road Chapel in Tallahassee.
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