(Updated February 18, 2010)
Born Carol Lasobik in Toledo, Ohio, Karol moved to Zephyrhills in 1963 when her father, Paul Lasobik, bought a radio station there. She had finished one year at Ohio State and planned on resuming her studies at the University of South Florida.
In an attempt to launch a music career, her record company suggested a name change, so she took the name “Karol Kelly.” But the music business was not to be. So, she continued working at WPAS, the station owned by her father. Broadcasting magazine, in a 1966 edition, listed her as general manager.
During the 1960’s, she entered numerous beauty contests around the state, and came out a winner in a great many of them. She was Miss Smile, Miss Personality, Greek Goddess of St. Leo College, Sweetheart of Sebring, Miss Sunflavor, Florida Citrus Queen, Miss Howitzer Battalion, Florida Poultry Queen, Miss Orange Juice, Miss Florida Attractions, Florida Egg Queen, Miss Webb’s City, Miss Tarpon Round-Up, Miss National Guard, Miss Dixie, Miss (WLCY) TV-10, and Miss Sunken Gardens. She was also Florida’s entry in the 1965 Miss USA Contest, finishing 15th, and has had many modeling jobs, including contracts with national firms like Ford Motor Company, Jantzen (swim and sportswear), and 7-Up.
She moved into TV and became a weather host in the mid 1960’s for WLCY-TV channel 10 and WFLA-TV channel 8. Then, her career moved to yet another level when she opened the Karol Kelly Modeling and Finishing School in St. Petersburg. In 1970, she married Fred Bullard, a successful businessman and developer (BayWalk, Feather Sound Country Club, Jacksonville’s Queen’s Harbor Country Club, as well as a number of other shopping centers), and went on to raise three fine sons.
Today (2010), Karol continues to live in Tampa Bay and devotes her time to many worthwhile causes, like the United Way, the Red Cross, the Dali Museum, and the Suncoast Boys and Girls Clubs, just to name a few. As beautiful as ever, she still garners “titles,” even when she doesn’t go looking for them. In 2005, she was selected as the Queen of Hearts at St. Petersburg’s annual Queen of Hearts Ball in recognition of her outstanding service and volunteer work.
(Thanks to Bernice Thompson for her help with this bio. Photo courtesy Win Wolloff and Tampa Bay Magazine)
1963 - 1967 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (On Air Personality)