Frank Burnett Doggett Jr., M.D.

Marker is located on the south side of Atlantic Avenue between Michigan and Ohio Avenue, outside the entrance to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center.

Marker Text:
A native of Atlantic City graduated with honors as a pre-med student at Lincoln University in Chester County Pa. While completing his studies at Howard University School of Medicine in Washington D.C., Doggett was the recipient of several scholastic awards in the sciences. Dr. Doggett served in two branches of the military, the Army and served a Captain in the Air Force. He was the first African American practicing Physician to be admitted as a medical staff member in the Internal Medicine department of Atlantic City Hospital. At the time of his retirement he was the Chief Clinical Assistant in Internal Medicine. He was a dedicated physician to the Atlantic City community. He served as a former Chief Medical Physician for the New Jersey Athletic Board, where he inherited the title “fight doctor.” He was a recipient of the New Jersey Medical Society Award for 50 years of medical service. Dr. Doggett is a member and past president of the Alpha Theta Lama Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a past president of the Atlantic City Chapter of Frontiers International, and a member and former trustee of Shiloh Baptist Church in Atlantic City.

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Additional information:

Dr. Frank Doggett spent his nearly 100 years of life as a pioneer in the Atlantic City community. Though completing his medical internship at Harlem Hospital in New York, Dr. Doggett returned to Atlantic City, where he served the citizens’ medical needs until his retirement in 1989. For his dedication, he was commended with several awards during his lifetime, including 101 Women Plus’s Black Image Award and the St. James AME Church’s Service Award. Many Atlantic City residents fondly remember Dr. Doggett and his commitment to his patients. At the dedication ceremony for his historic marker, Atlantic City Councilman Steven Moore remarked that Dr. Doggett was so dedicated that he probably invented the term “family medicine.” Former City Council President Rosalind Norrell-Nance similarly quipped that before Nike adopted the slogan “Just Do It,” Dr. Doggett had used it as his personal philosophy. Many shared stories of his dedication to his patients, and how he always went above and beyond in his community, including personally financing the addition of an elevator his church. At the ceremony’s closing remarks, Dr. Doggett’s daughter Yvonne “Missy” Doggett told the crowd “My daddy was a superhero, but his costume was a white coat and a metal stethoscope.”

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Yvonne "Missy" Doggett speaks during the dedication and unveiling ceremony of her father's marker. 

For more information, see these resources in the Atlantic City Free Public Library, Atlantic City Heritage Collections:

Local History Biography File - Dr. Frank B. Doggett, Jr.


William "Sonny" Lea

Marker is located on the Southeast Corner of Arctic and Kentucky Avenues.

Marker Text:
Born in Caswell County N.C. and raised in Danville, Va., Sonny relocated to Atlantic City after being honorably discharged from the United States Air Force. He worked in various hotels and restaurants before he began working as a barber at the Little New York Barbershop. Later, he cut hair at Grace’s Little Belmont Hair Salon before opening his own shop in 1975, all on the famed Kentucky Avenue. Sonny’s Barbershop has been the training ground for a new generation of barbers in Atlantic City, many of whom have started their own shops. More importantly, over the years, Sonny has mentored countless young people and sponsored a plethora of community events. A pillar in the community, he is a tireless advocate for youth education coupled with athletics. Sonny serves as a commissioner for the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority and is an original steering committee member for the Battle by the Bay basketball showcase. He is best known as the Historian of the enduring Kentucky Avenue legacy.

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Additional information:

“KY and the Curb,” the block of Kentucky Avenue from Arctic to Atlantic Avenues, was an epicenter of community and nightlife activity for Atlantic City’s African American population for much of the 20th century. As a worker in no less than three Kentucky Avenue barbershops, Sonny Lea has been witness to it all. During his time at Grace’s Little Belmont Hair Salon, which was located right across the street from Club Harlem, Sonny often received famous performers as clients. Slappy White, BB King, and even Muhammad Ali were among a long list of celebrities that had their hair cut by Sonny. Sonny Lea first came to Atlantic City in 1960, and performed a series of jobs around the resort, including busing tables at Child’s Restaurant and the Knife and Fork Inn, and working as a bellhop and doorman at the Empress and Mayflower hotels. It is in his career as a barber, however, that he has left his mark on the Atlantic City community. Sonny has served as a mentor and father figure to countless neighborhood youths over the years. During the dedication ceremony for his marker, Councilman Frank Gilliam spoke of how Sonny’s caring even extended to sending him care packages while away at college. Another speaker touched on the significance of Sonny’s marker only bearing one date, and how fitting it is to honor him during his lifetime. Sonny Lea’s marker is located at the corner of Arctic and Kentucky Avenues, just down the street from Sonny’s Hair Salon.


Firefighter John A. Seedorf Memorial


Marker is located at the southwest corner of California and Atlantic Avenues.

Marker text:
Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf
March 22, 1949 - April 9, 1979

Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf joined the Atlantic City Fire Department on December 23, 1973. His first assignment was at Fire Station 10, formerly located at Rhode Island Avenue and Melrose Avenue. He served honorably as a fire fighter for 5 years. He ended his career at Engine No. 4, Division 3 located at Atlantic and California Avenue.

Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf was killed in the line of duty on April 9, 1979.

The City of Atlantic City proudly honors Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf for his years of service to his community and his commitment to saving lives by naming Fire Station No. 4 in his honor.

Fire Station No. 4 will now be known as the Fire Fighter John A. Seedorf Memorial Fire Station.

Additional information:
John Seedorf was a Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force. He was thirty years old when he was killed in a collapse in a burning building on Elberon Avenue. Though the building was vacant, Seedorf entered anyway to make sure no one was trapped inside. His unfortunate death has led to improvements in safety equipment for Atlantic City's firefighters, as well as reviews of the policies on entering vacant buildings. In addition to Fire Station No. 4 being renamed in Seedorf's honor, the beach block of Elberon Avenue was renamed John A. Seedorf Lane on the 15th anniversary of the blaze. Fire Captain William McGrail said on the occasion, "John was one of those people who makes life fun, period. He had a way of making each day as different and unique as he was. He is missed."

For more information, see:
Atlantic City Press, articles from April 10, 1994, May 26, 2000 and January 14, 2008



Leavander W. Johnson Statue


Statue is located in City Center Park, on Atlantic Avenue between North Carolina and South Carolina Avenues

Text on statue:
Leavander W. Johnson

1969 - 2005

34 Wins - 5 Losses - 2 Draws - 26 KO'S

An Atlantic City native who became the IBF and IBO Lightweight World Champion

Additional information:
Born in Atlantic City and coached by his father, Leavander Johnson honed his boxing skills early, practicing at the Police Athletic League's boxing gym. His professional career began in 1989, and featured 12 straight bouts in Atlantic City casinos before launching an international career. Johnson quickly worked his way up to the coveted title of the International Boxing Federation's Lightweight Champion, but, tragically, he sustained brain injuries while attempting to defend this title and died in 2005 after a Las Vegas match. Following his death, a number of local tributes took place to honor Atlantic City's own boxing star. The statue in City Center Park was sculpted by Brian Hanlon and dedicated in 2010. The street outside of the PAL gym used by Leavander has been renamed in his honor, and the gym itself is adorned with a banner celebrating his achievements. Leavander Johnson was also inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005. Perhaps the best tribute of all, however, is Leavander's father Bill Johnson's decision to continue his career as a boxing coach. In an Atlantic City Press interview, Bill Johnson said, "When Leavander died, I stayed away for a while and thought about giving it up. But I thought it would be an injustice to Leavander if I didn't keep helping guys and training fighters. Leavander kept fighting right to the end and I know he would want me to do the same thing."

For more information, see articles from:
Atlantic City Press, July 9, 2010, September 22, 2006 and November 10, 2005
Casino Connection, September 2010


Florence Valore Miller


Marker is located outside the entrance to the Atlantic City Art Center on Garden Pier, New Jersey Avenue and the Boardwalk

Marker text:
By order of the Mayor of Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Council, the Atlantic City Art Center is hereby dedicated to Florence Valore Miller for a lifetime of tireless commitment and selfless dedication to the promotion of artistic and cultural programs designed to nurture the aesthetic spirit of all the people of Atlantic City.


Additional information:
Florence Valore Miler, an Atlantic City native, was one of the resort's largest champions of arts and culture. Amongst her numerous achievements were founding the Atlantic City Fine Arts Commission in 1969, and helping to build Atlantic City's original Art Center on Garden Pier. When this center was destroyed by fire in 1981, the new center was dedicated in her honor. Miller spent but a few years of her life outside of Atlantic City, when she moved to Hollywood with her husband and acted as a stand-in for movie stars. When the couple returned to Atlantic City, they founded the Miller School of Art together. Miller was such an advocate of the Arts in Atlantic City that she considered herself the city's unofficial Minister of Culture. She was the Fine Arts Commission's director from its founding until her 1981 retirement from the position, though she continued as its Chairwoman Emeritus. She was also the Art Center's Executive Director until 1999, and was a member of the Historic Gardner's Basin board. Miller was also known for fighting against the moving or tearing down of many of the city's monuments, and for speaking out against a proposed plan to extend gambling onto Garden Pier. Florence Valore Miller died in 2002, but her presence can still be felt in cultural locations across the city.

For more information, see articles from:
Atlantic City Press, March 22, 2002 and March 23, 2002