Francis A. “Mike” Calhoun Jr., an Augusta native and prominent South Florida developer, died Friday in Miami. He was 90.
Calhoun, the son of Blanchard & Calhoun co-founder Francis Augustus Calhoun and a descendant of the 19th century statesman John C. Calhoun, was active in Miami business, civics and politics during the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
Craig Fifield, a nephew, said he died in his sleep of natural causes at the Miami VA Hospital hospice. Fifield said Calhoun was debilitated by a stroke in December but had been otherwise active at the Bay Oaks Historic Retirement Residence, where he had lived the past two years.
“He was really enjoying himself there,” Fifield said. “He had his car and he was a man about town until his stroke.”
Calhoun grew up in Augusta, where he worked as a lifeguard and front desk employee at Augusta Country Club before graduating from the Academy of Richmond County. He moved to Florida in 1946 to join his parents, who retired there for health reasons after selling their interest in Blanchard & Calhoun, a leading real estate firm that still bears his family’s name.
He passed the Florida real estate broker’s license at age 20 while attending the University of Miami. Calhoun worked in Jacksonville for a short time before returning to Miami where he bought into a firm that became Newman, Burk & Calhoun Realtors.
He was involved in commercial and residential real estate sales, marketing, appraisals and consulting for more than 40 years, serving as a member of the Miami Board of Realtor and the Institute of Real Estate Management. He held the Certified Property Manager and Accredited Management Organizations designations.
He married Gloria Maguire in 1952 and had two children, Gloriana and Patrick.
Calhoun served on the Metropolitan Dade County Zoning and Zoning Appeals boards as well as being elected to the Dade County Commission in 1972. His civic involvement included serving as chairman of the Crippled Children’s Society, now known as Easterseals Miami-Dade, serving on the Miami Civic Association, the Miami Committee of 100 and the Miami Club.
The family home was in the Brickell section of Miami. The house is now owned by pop star Madonna, daughter Gloriana Calhoun said.
She recalled her father as “quite a character” who maintained his sense of humor “until the end.”
“He was a great storyteller, a raconteur,” Calhoun said. “Everybody loved his stories.”
In the late 1970s, Calhoun pursued an interest in personal health and wellness and became recognized as a “Life Extension Research Specialist” and a frequent lecturer on the topics of healthy eating and exercise. His personal ventures included Natural Life Extension Inc. and Natural Hospital Inc.
He is survived by his daughter and his nephew. He is preceded in death by his father, mother Celeste Morris Calhoun; sister Anne Calhoun Fifield; and his son Patrick.
Funeral services are pending.