Jupiter is a town located in Palm Beach County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the town had a total population of 39,328. The estimate population for 2009 is 50,606. As of 2006, the population had grown to 50,028, according to the University of Florida, Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Jupiter is well-known for its beauty and beaches. It is often referred to as a “beach town” and has become a popular vacation spot.
The area where the town now sits was originally named for the Hobe Indian tribe which lived at the mouth of the Loxahatchee River, and whose name is also preserved in the name of nearby Hobe Sound. A mapmaker misunderstood the Spanish spelling ‘Jobe’ of the Indian name ‘Hobe’ and recorded it as ‘Jove’. Subsequent mapmakers further misunderstood this to be the Latin translation of the god Jupiter, and they anglicized the name from Jove to ‘Jupiter.’ The Roman god Jupiter (or Zeus in the Greek mythology) is the chief Roman god, husband of Juno, and god of light, of the sky and weather, and of the state and its welfare and its laws. It inspired a neighboring town to name itself, “Juno Beach”.
The most notable landmark is the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, completed in 1860. Made of brick, it was painted red in 1910 due to discoloration caused by humidity. Hurricane Jeanne in 2004 sandblasted the paint from the upper portion of the tower, and the tower was repainted using a potassium silicate mineral coating. The lighthouse is often used as the symbol for Jupiter.
Jupiter is now home to many transplanted Northerners who can afford expensive, luxurious vacation homes. Most “snowbirds” eventually become year-round residents, and are predominantly from the New York City metropolitan area (including Connecticut and New Jersey) and the Boston area in Massachusetts.
The following list includes persons who were born in Jupiter, previously lived in Jupiter, or currently reside in Jupiter.
- Robert Allenby – Australian professional golfer on the PGA Tour
- Tori Amos – Singer/Songwriter
- Rick Ankiel – Professional Major League Baseball player
- Don Brewer – drummer/singer, original member of Grand Funk Railroad
- Celine Dion – Grammy Award winning Canadian singer.
- Julie Dubela – Singer known mainly in the Boston area for singing the national anthem.
- Ernie Els – South African professional golfer on the PGA Tour and European Tour
- Rickie Fowler – Professional golfer on the PGA Tour
- Hermes Franca – Brazilian mixed martial artist and UFC Fighter
- Drew Garrett – Actor
- Dustin Johnson – Professional golfer on the PGA Tour
- Bill Parcells – Former NFL coach New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, & current Exec. Vice President of the Miami Dolphins.
- Bryant Gumbel – Former morning TV show host
- Jack Hanna – Zookeeper and animal expert
- F. Ross Johnson – Former CEO of RJR Nabisco during the leveraged buyout.
- Michael Jordan – Former NBA basketball player, Hall of Fame member, and current majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats
- Jamie Lovemark – Professional golfer on the PGA Tour
- Will MacKenzie – Professional golfer on the PGA Tour
- Jesper Parnevik – Swedish professional golfer on the PGA Tour.
- Kurt Pellegrino – UFC Fighter
- Charles Nelson Reilly – Actor and teacher, lived in a house given to him by Burt Reynolds, who had previously lived in it with Sally Field.
- Burt Reynolds – Actor famous for appearing in films such as Smokey and the Bandit and Deliverance
- Wayne Rosenthal, major league baseball pitcher and coach
- Mike Schmidt – Hall of Fame major league baseball player
- Scott Sharp – 1996 IndyCar Series Champion and current competitor in the American Le Mans Series.
- Dara Torres – Five-time Olympic swimmer and gold medalist
- Charles Vanik – Former Democratic congressman from Ohio
- Camilo Villegas – Colombian professional golfer on the PGA Tour
- Brett Wetterich – professional golfer on the PGA Tour
In 1999, Jupiter resident George Andres wanted to display a United States flag in his front yard, however, the homeowners association had a bylaw prohibiting the display of a flagpole in the front lawn. Andres still displayed the flag, while the homeowners association went as far as foreclosing his home to cover legal fees after being in court at least twenty-eight times. Even after Governor Jeb Bush visited his home along with members of the local and national media, the homeowners association refused to budge. Andres said, “Well, first they said that it was going to cost more to cut the grass around the pole, which is kind of funny. And then they told me that the flagpole was going to take away from the value of the property. And I said, well then, we should be able to take away all the trees around here, because they’re the same as the pole. And my pole is a portable pole. And the state government says I can do it.”
George Andres won and was allowed to display his flag in his front lawn with the use of a flagpole.
During the last week of July 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005, allowing residents to display the flag on their residential property despite any Homeowners association rules.
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