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  • 4 years ago

Candy-bar salesman, bicycle stuntman, race-car driver: Carl Fisher had lived a full life by the time he turned 20; he was just getting started. The middle-school dropout from a humble Indianapolis home soon parlayed his considerable talent and flair for the dramatic into an automotive fortune. But the next chapter of his life would prove even more unlikely. He poured his fortune and spectacular salesmanship into a dream only he saw, a swampy island just off the coast of a still-new Miami. The automobile-magnate turned developer who would later be called "Mr. Miami Beach" originated much of the structure and especially the spectacle that's come to define the Beach. He financed the first bridges to link it to the mainland, built one of its first iconic resort hotels, and started development of the island which bears his name (and which he later exchanged for a yacht). With help from Rosie the Elephant and tons of other gimmicks, he then set out selling his fantasy to the tourists of the