Gatorade inventor Dr. Robert Cade was one of nine honored at halftime of University of Florida's Spring Game on Saturday. Cade is the only non-athlete in the group to be inducted into the University of Florida Athletics Hall of Fame. Cade's impact on the university was written about in an excellent article by Dave Curtis of the Orlando Sentinel.
One of my favorite parts about writing "First in Thirst" was the eccentric Cade. He's a brilliant guy who just loves life and -- although he's lost some sharpness with age -- the man is the prototypical scientist entrepreneur.
The interesting thing about University of Florida and Cade is that they sure have been honoring him lately. The College of Medicine honored him in 2004. They honored him again at a football game at halftime of a football game in 2005 and at the state legislature that year. This is all interesting because the school and the state hated Cade and the other three inventors for four years while they were embroiled in a lawsuit. Even after the University of Florida got 20 percent of the royalties, Cade was hardly seen as a valuable part of the school. It has only been in, I'd say the last decade or so that the school has appreciated Cade for what he's done. By the way, they should pay attention to the other guys now -- Dr. Jim Free, Dr. Alex De Quesada and Dr. Dana Shires. They are owed some more recognition.