John Sheppard and Bob Martin

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2015) – The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently hosted a book signing for one of its founders John Sheppard’s latest book releases.

Sheppard’s book, “Impact Six Degrees of Separation,” focuses on Lee County’s connection to the heroes and battles of WWI and WWII. Notable figures highlighted in the book include General John Pershing, Colonel Paul Tibbetts, Thomas Edison, General Jimmy Doolittle, President Franklin Roosevelt, Colonel Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford.

The cover of the book was designed by his wife and artist Ellen Sheppard.

“So many veterans who trained here during the wars have left an indelible mark in our community, and it was my honor to research the many war heroes who have ties to our area,” said Sheppard.

Proceeds of the book sales benefited a variety of nonprofit organizations.

Sheppard was instrumental in founding the Southwest Florida Community Foundation along with J. Tom Smoot, Jr. and a small group of civic leaders in 1976. He has been a trustee for many years and remains active with the Foundation. He is well known in the community as a humanitarian who devotes his life to helping others.

Born in Lee County, Sheppard attended Fort Myers High School and the University of Florida in Gainesville to earn his bachelor’s and Juris Doctor degrees. After graduation, Sheppard served in the U.S. Army for two years and then joined his family law firm. He retired after 37 years of private practice. Writing and publishing books has kept him busy since retiring.

As leaders, conveners, grant makers and concierges of philanthropy, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation is a foundation built on community leadership with an inspired history of fostering regional change for the common good in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Community Foundation, founded in 1976, connects donors and their philanthropic aspirations with evolving community needs. With assets of more than $80 million, the Community Foundation has provided more than $60 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves. Last year, the Foundation granted more than $2.8 million to nonprofit organizations supporting education, animal welfare, arts, healthcare and human services. The Foundation granted $782,000 in nonprofit grants including more than $400,000 in regional community impact grants and additional $450,000 in scholarship grants.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, call 239-274-5900 or visit

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