Born: February 23, 1907
Died: May 17, 1998
Term: June 19, 1974 - October 3, 1974 (Acting Mayor)
William Lloyd Copeland was born in Polk County, Florida and, as a boy, he sold the produce raised on his father's farm by the roadside. He later converted this operation into a plan of buying from the farmers, and selling this produce on the streets of Tampa from house to house. He opened the first small produce market on East Hillsborough Ave in 1934. He opened the present Copeland's Super Market on East Hillsborough in 1946. He was one of the founders of the Tampa Wholesale Produce Market and served on he board and was Vice President of this organization for more than 20 years. He was also a member of Florida Retail Grocers.
Copeland was an extremely religious man who strongly opposed the sale of liquor and consistently fought the issuing liquor licenses. This aspect of his personality was extremely annoying to individuals in and out of city government. However, he was also known for his determination that Tampa exemplify honest government and focus on the needs of its citizens which is how he received the nickname, "Mr. Integrity." Copeland was elected to Tampa's City Council in 1959 and served as Vice Chairman for many years and as Chairman from 1974-1975. He served as acting mayor from June 1974 to October 1974 following the death of acting mayor Richard Cheney.
During Copeland's brief tenure as mayor, he appointed the city's first Police Advisory Committee, instituted a 5.5 million crash sewer treatment program, hired new city auditors and put together a 90 million budget. Copeland also persuaded Hillsborough County to assist the City with its plans to renovate Tampa's playgrounds. He also displayed excellent arbitration skills when he settled a heated dispute between two members of the City Council. Lloyd Copeland also served as Vice Mayor of Tampa from 1981 until his retirement in 1984 at the age of 76.
Sources for this Biographical Sketch:
Covington, Dr. James W. and Wavering, Debbie Lee, "The Mayors of Tampa:A Brief Administrative History," Tampa, FL: University of Tampa, 1987.
Tampa Council Minutes, City of Tampa Archives,Tampa, FL
January 26, 1956 - July 31, 1956 # 38