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Bob Butterworth to receive Bar Foundation top award

Bob Butterworth, Florida's longest-serving attorney general, will receive the prestigious Medal of Honor Award from the Florida Bar Foundation Thursday in conjunction with the Florida Bar's annual convention in Orlando.

A Democrat from Hollywood, Butterworth served four terms as attorney general from 1987 to 2002. Known for having one of the most diverse resumes in the history of Florida politics, he served as a state prosecutor, county judge, circuit judge, Broward sheriff, executive director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and interim mayor of Sunrise.

During his time as A.G., Butterworth helped to lead Florida's legal assault against the tobacco industry. A Bar Foundation news release described his "game-changing leadership" as secretary of the Department of Children and Families in the term of former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, where he professionalized DCF's legal staff, improved transparency and gave a stronger voice to foster children.

Butterworth, 71, is of counsel to the firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney/Fowler White Boggs.

He repeatedly rebuffed entreaties that he run for governor, and he lost his final bid for public office in 2002 in a state Senate race to Republican Jeff Atwater, now Florida's CFO. Butterworth was prominently featured in an early 2014 campaign video endorsing Crist for governor.