Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 9, Fall 2011

Dr. Phillips Legacies, Volume 9, Fall 2011

August 22, 2017

We concluded the last issue of Legacies with Howard Phillips having graduated from Harvard and contemplating his future. Before him stood a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to manage the prestigious New York Theater Guild, as well as an opportunity to join his father in the citrus business. Howard’s love of the performing arts and his strong family commitments made this a very difficult  decision, but in the end Howard chose to return to Orlando to join his father’s business.

Howard’s first year with the Dr. Phillips Companies was a challenging one. It was 1924, and the Florida citrus industry was struggling and needed new opportunities to sell their products. Expansion into new markets was difficult due to a perception that Florida fruit was inferior to California fruit. This perception resulted in the northern market simply not accepting Florida fruit.

To address this challenge, one of the first and most important assignments Howard received from his father was to open up new markets … specifically targeting the states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. So Howard, a recent Harvard graduate, devised a risky plan, rolled up his sleeves and traveled north on the railways … with fully loaded box cars of fresh oranges and grapefruit, determined to change perceptions and the marketplace.

Continued on page 2 of Dr. Phillips Legacies: Enriching the Community with the Fruits of Our Labor, Volume 9, Fall 2011.

Listen to the Orange County Library System's oral history interview with Howard Phillips conducted February 22, 1975.

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part I (15:20)

Howard Phillips Oral History Interview Part II (15:33)

Dr. Phillips Legacies courtesy of the Dr. Phillips Foundation.


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