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Fort Myers, or Ft. Myers, is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 62,298 and in 2019 was estimated at 87,103. Together with the larger and more residential Cape Coral, it anchors a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) which comprises Lee County and has a population of 770,577 in 2019. Fort Myers is a gateway to the Southwest Florida region and a major tourist destination within Florida. The winter estates of Thomas Edison ("Seminole Lodge") and Henry Ford ("The Mangoes") are major attractions. The city is named after Colonel Abraham Myers, the quartermaster general of the Confederate States Army.
Sarasota () is a city in Sarasota County on the southwestern coast of the U.S. state of Florida. The area is renowned for its cultural and environmental amenities, beaches, resorts, and the Sarasota School of Architecture. The city is located south of Tampa Bay area, north of Fort Myers and Punta Gorda. Its official limits include Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019 Sarasota had a population of 58,285. In 1986 it became designated as a certified local government. Sarasota is a principal city of the Sarasota metropolitan area, and is the seat of Sarasota County. Long the winter headquarters of the Ringling Brothers Circus, many landmarks in Sarasota are named for the Ringlings. The Sarasota city limits contain several keys, including Lido Key, St. Armands Key, Otter Key, Casey Key, Coon Key, Bird Key, and portions of Siesta Key. Longboat Key is the largest key separating the bay from the gulf, but it was evenly divided by the new county line of 1921. The portion of the key that parallels the Sarasota city boundary that extends to that new county line along the bayfront of the mainland was removed from the city boundaries at the request of John Ringling in the mid-1920s, who sought to avoid city taxation of his planned developments at the southern tip of the key. Although they never were completed in the quickly faltering economy, those development concessions granted by the city never were reversed and the county has retained regulation of those lands. The city limits had expanded significantly with the real estate rush of the early twentieth century, reaching almost 70 square miles (180 km2). The wild speculation boom began to crash in 1926 and following that, the city limits began to contract, shrinking to less than a quarter of that area.
Fort Myers Beach
For generations Fort Myers Beach has been a favorite vacation destination for visitors from the U.S., Canada and around the world.
Johnny O'Neal was an American R&B singer best known as a member of Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm. He also sang with blues guitarist Earl Hooker. O'Neal used various pseudonyms such as Brother Bell, Burntface Brother, and Scarface Johnny. As a solo artist he recorded for King Records and Sun Records in the 1950s. He also formed his own group called Johnny O'Neal and the Hound Dogs.