H. Lee Moffitt, born in Tampa, is a practicing attorney and former state legislator, having served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives from 1982 to 1984. Inspired by the death of three friends to cancer, he conceived the idea for the creation of a comprehensive cancer center for Florida and spearheaded a $70-million appropriation through the Legislature to build the facility on the campus of USF. He labored for nine years to create for Florida a cancer center, an institution where working for a cure would be as important as offering patients the most advanced treatments. During Moffitt's term as speaker, the Legislature named the new Florida cancer center after him (over his objection), to recognize and honor him for his commitment to the initiative. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute is now recognized as a National Cancer Institute Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center -- the only cancer center in Florida to be so designated.
Mr. Moffitt earned his B.A. from the University of South Florida and his law degree from Cumberland School of Law. He was the first graduate of USF to be elected to the Florida legislature and to be Speaker of the House. While in the Legislature he secured the funding for USF's Sun Dome and the College of Engineering building. Once, when the Board of Regents attempted to designate UF and FSU as Florida's only research universities, he filed a lawsuit against the Board of Regents to ensure USF’s recognition. The lawsuit persuaded the BOR to reconsider, and USF was included as a research university. He also co-chaired the Presidential search committee that selected Betty Castor to be President of USF. For his many years of advocacy on behalf of USF, he received USF's first distinguished Alumni Award, and was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Political Science. He was also awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the Board of Regents.
Mr. Moffitt continues to actively serve on boards and committees of Moffitt Cancer Center, as he has for over 25 years. For his years of work in the fight against cancer, the Association of Community Cancer Centers presented him with its National Achievement Award in 2007.