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Robert E. Lee High School is one of the two oldest high schools in Jacksonville, Florida. The school
was named for the Confederate general, Robert E. Lee and was dedicated on the anniversary of his birthday,
January 19, 1928. The school’s yearbook is The Blue and Gray and its newspaper, named for General Lee’s
horse, is The Traveler. Enrollment at Lee rose from 954 the first year to about 2,000 in the 1950’s. The
current enrollment is around 1800. Lee’s first principal was Professor E.L. Lounsbury. Ms. Denise Hall
is the current principal.
During World War II, Lee High School’s greatest contribution to the war effort was to purchase a P-51
Mustang fighter manufactured by North American Aviation., Inc. Money for this plane was raised through a
bond campaign from October 20, 1943 through January 19, 1944. In spite of many interruptions and the
Christmas holidays, the school raised $93,000 in bonds and stamps, $18,000 in excess of the price of the plane.
On November 24, 1986, Lee was ravaged by a fire that destroyed the library and many classrooms. The fire
caused damage that was estimated at $4.5 million. As a result of the fire and the damage it caused, The
Robert E. Lee High School Restoration Committee was formed by Lee alumni to help raise money for the
restoration of the school.
In 1965, a group of Lee High School students formed the band My Backyard. Later the band, lead by singer
Ronnie Van Zant, renamed the band Lynyrd Skynyrd after teacher Leonard Skinner. Their Biography and
information can be found at their website by visiting http://lynyrdskynyrd.com
Robert E. Lee has produced many Jacksonville leaders and several football greats.
They include: Hans
Tanzler, mayor in the late 1970’s, the late Homer Lindsay Jr., former pastor
of the First Baptist Church, Ander Crenshaw, a United States Congressman, Billy
a former member of the Duval County School Board,
George Winterling, a meteorologist with Channel 4 News, Leroy Butler, and Edgar
Bennett, both members of
the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.