Melvin J. RichardMelvin J. Richard came to Miami Beach in 1926 at the age of 14. His first labor for the young city was digging ditches for its water pipes, at 35 cents an hour. In 1934, at age 22, he became the 6th attorney in the city. In 1941, at age 29 he became City Judge. On June 7, 1949, he was elected to the City Council, a post he would hold for 16 years. On June 4, 1963 he was elected Mayor of Miami Beach. He was known for his uncompromising honesty, and yielded to the control of no man or woman, except his wife, Janet. He successfully fought to keep the beaches open to the public, to keep organized crime at bay, to keep Lincoln Road a pedestrian thoroughfare, and for many other noble causes. He died on February 12, 2001, at age 89, still practicing law, and still speaking out publicly for causes in which he believed. In all of these years he left the city and his family only once, from 1943 to 1946, to serve the nation and the city as a decorated naval officer in the European Theater of World War II. This rotunda was designed and built under his watch as Mayor and Councilman, between 1962 and 1964, and dedicated to Melvin J. Richard, on February 7, 2005, by a grateful city.