Sam Gibbons, Bay Area Icon, Dead at 92

The late politician was instrumental in bringing the University of South Florida to the area.

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.

Truth teller October 10, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Sam Gibbons is a local hero may he rest in peace.
Elizabeth Belcher October 11, 2012 at 04:13 PM
If anyone ever watches the old black and white movies, The Longest Day, the story of Sam Gibbons parachuting into France is told. Mr. Gibbon's nephew told me that when the paratroops finally formed up, Sam Gibbons was the ranking officer who took command. Gibbons also fought at the Battle of the Bulge. My uncle fought in that battle. It became hand to hand. If this is all Sam Gibbons ever did for his country, he is a hero beyond words but he did so much more.
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