By Martie Thompson
A native Jacksonvillian, Dr. William Bosworth was born on the Northside of the city and graduated from Andrew Jackson High School. He attended the University of Tampa on a four-year basketball scholarship and graduated from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences on a GI Bill, which he earned during an earlier stint with the United States Marine Corps. After earning his medical degree, he joined the U.S. Navy for active duty post graduate training at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, specializing in general and family medicine. He established his family practice in Mandarin in 1974 after completing active duty with the U.S. Navy at Mayport.
Since then, he has been a very active citizen of Mandarin, serving in numerous capacities with various civic and neighborhood organizations. Among many others, he is a life member of the Rotary Club, a life member of the Mandarin Community Club (serving as president in 2002), a charter member of the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society, and a sponsor of the Mandarin Art Festival. He was elected and served as a member of the Duval County School Board from 1986 – 1990 as well as the Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Commission from 1981 – 1986.
Dr. Bosworth is presently semi-retired and works part time as a family physician. He is married to Wanda and has one daughter and one granddaughter.
Q: What inspired you to become a doctor?
A: I didn’t really have a “goal” to become a doctor. I wanted to achieve the highest level of education that I could and things fell into place. Athletics was a starter and got me a scholarship for my first four years of college and then I worked as a pharmaceutical sales rep, which gave me more knowledge and appreciation for the medical field. I took my pre-medical classes at night in Orlando when I was in my 30s and the GI Bill paid for my med school expenses. One interesting note is that I started my family practice in Mandarin and the office was located where Taco Bell is now … and there was horse’s trough next to the office because at that time people sometimes rode their horse to the office.
Q: How did you meet your wife?
A: We met through mutual friends in Jacksonville. We like to dance and at that time we were interested in country line dancing. Our first date was to the Jacksonville Symphony. We had a long courtship and were married at Mandarin Presbyterian Church, where we are still members. We renew our vows every year.
Q: What do you consider to be your outstanding personal achievement?
A: I would say being elected to the Duval County School Board and achieving the building of four new schools in Mandarin: Mandarin High School, Mandarin Middle School, Greenland Oaks Elementary and Mandarin Oaks Elementary. I had three goals when I was elected: the first was to get the school bond issue passed and repair old schools in the city as well as build 10 new ones, including the four in Mandarin. The bond issue had failed the year prior and I helped revitalize the support of the NAACP, of which I was a member. Secondly, I pushed for Tobacco Free Schools, which we achieved. And finally, I wanted to expand the extended day care to all elementary schools in Jacksonville for students with working parents. I served on the school board for four years and accomplished what I set out to do.
Q: What can you tell us about your life-long love of basketball?
A: I played basketball in high school and college and never stopped. In my 50s, I started a national program for older players called “Masters Basketball USA” with professional player and Hall of Famer Sam Jones. This is for athletes who wish to continue national competition and there are age group divisions. It has blossomed to include an 80-and-over division called “Geezer Jocks.” We started this program due to our love and passion for the game of basketball to include fitness, camaraderie and love of competition.
Photo courtesy Wanda Bosworth
Dr. William Bosworth