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Willie Daniels was born in Bainbridge, Georgia in 1951 and was the youngest of the “Original Eight Highwaymen”. In 1960 he moved from Georgia to Fort Pierce, where he lived three houses down from Mary Ann Carroll. Through her, he was introduced to Harold Newton and Roy McLendon.

Like many of the Highwaymen, Willie learned to paint by watching the other artists. No one formally taught him how to paint, but the more experienced artists sometimes offered suggestions about his paintings. You can see in his work elements and techniques he inherited from Harold Newton, Alfred Hair, Livingston Roberts, and Roy McLendon. Within the group, Daniels formed a very strong relationship with Livingston Roberts and Al Black. He and Roberts would often finish ten to twelve paintings each evening, and then give them to Al Black to sell.

During the years of waned interest for landscape paintings (1980s-1990s), Willie was working as a truck driver in Augusta, Georgia, occasionally still painting. He was unaware of his recent fame and didn’t know his friends were now making hundreds of dollars for a single painting. Willie returned to Fort Pierce in 2001 and once again began painting full time. He began to slow down in his work after this, and started using more colors and detail to scenes he had mastered over the years. 

Biographies are adapted from those on, one of the earliest informative websites on the Florida Highwaymen. Since the site is no longer active, we have provided them here.

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