Sam Gibbons, an iconic Bay Area figure and politician who was instrumental in the creation of the University of South Florida, has died.
The World War II veteran, who spent more than 50 years as a lawmaker, was pronounced dead at Tampa General Hospital this morning, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Gibbons, 92, lived through some of the most significant events in Bay Area and U.S. history. He served decades in the Legislature and Congress, developing a reputation as an outspoken lawmaker. Called an “institution” in Hillsborough County by the Times, Gibbons was a major force in bringing USF to the area.
Gibbons was credited with bringing in money to rebuild the Skyway Bridge as well as pushing legislation concerning NAFTA and the elimination of capital gains taxes for seniors who sell their homes, according to the Times.
The late politician also served in the Army as a captain, having stormed the beach in France on D-Day via parachute.
Do you remember Sam Gibbons? What was his biggest contribution to Hillsborough County in your opinion? Tell us in the comments section.