Developer of 1 of the world's largest retirement communities dies at 77

Associated Press

Harold Gary Morse, the developer of one of the world's largest retirement communities, has died. He was 77.

Morse died Wednesday, according to The Villages Daily Sun, which received a statement from the family. No cause of death was given.

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Morse took over a small mobile home park in central Florida from his father in 1983, when it had just 386 manufactured homes, a clubhouse and a few shuffleboard courts.

Census data says The Villages is one of the nation's fastest-growing communities.

He was also a prominent GOP donor who made his private jet available to the Republican Party of Florida. In 2012 The Villages gave a total of $350,000 to the state party and a political committee controlled by Florida Gov. Rick Scott.