Florida Gators superfan George Edmondson — known as Mr. Two Bits — died Tuesday at the age of 97, said UF spokesperson Steve Orlando.
The history of Edmondson’s fandom goes back all the way to a 1949 game at Florida Field. The Gators were playing The Citadel, a school he attended before enlisting in the Navy during World War II.
As the Gators came onto the field, fans booed because of the team’s losing streak. So Edmondson, whose loyalties held strong even though he himself did not attend school at UF, jumped up and started the iconic cheer. This started the legend of Mr. Two Bits, Orlando said.
And for 60 years, Edmondson started every Gator home football game with his famous cheer: “Two-Bits, Four-Bits, Six-bits, a Dollar. All for the Gators, Stand Up and Holler!” He led the cheer wearing his signature yellow shirt and orange-and-blue striped tie, showing his love and spirit for the team.
He continued to “stand up and holler” until his retirement in 2008, in which the final game happened to be against The Citadel.
After he retired, Albert and Alberta continued the tradition until 2013, when UF began inviting celebrities, including Steve Spurrier, Danny Wuerffel, Cris Collinsworth and other beloved Gators, to do the cheer.
Edmondson’s impact stretched beyond football. In fact, UF Foundations’s 2019 Giving Day had the theme “Stand Up and Holler” to honor the cheer. This day included T-shirts styled after Edmondson’s outfit and a campaign resulting in 11,535 gifts totaling over $12.6 million in a single day, Orlando said.
In addition, Edmondson and his wife, Jane, provided awards to UF cheerleaders by founding the Mr. Two Bits Scholarship Fund, Orlando said.
Edmondson’s legacy will not only be remembered by his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but also by Gator fans around the world.
A celebration of life will be held in Tampa in August, Orlando said. Details will be announced at a later date.