Tampa Bay philanthropist David Straz dies at 77

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Well-known Tampa Bay philanthropist and former mayoral candidate David Straz Jr. has died. He was 77 years old.

Jarrod Holbrook, the executive director of the David A. Straz Jr. Foundation, announced the passing in a brief news release Monday evening.

“It is with a heavy heart the Straz family regrets to inform you that while on a recent fishing trip with close friends, David A. Straz, Jr. passed away peacefully in his sleep,” the statement said. “The Straz family is asking the media to respect their privacy during this difficult time. We will release funeral plans once they are final.”

David Straz is well-known around Tampa and leaves a lasting legacy behind.

Tampa’s performing arts center, The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, is named after the late philanthropist, along with Straz Hall – a residence hall at the University of Tampa. His philanthropy will also be remembered at ZooTampa at Lowry Park – the home of the David A. Straz Jr. Manatee Critical Care Center.

Most recently, Straz ran for mayor in the City of Tampa. He was one of the final two candidates in a run-off election but was eventually defeated by Mayor Jane Castor.

Castor’s office released the following statement Monday night:

I’m saddened to hear about the passing of Mr. Straz. David’s indelible contributions to this city will be a part of our cultural fabric for decades to come. My heart goes out to the entire family during this very difficult time.”

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman also tweeted a statement saying the legacy of Straz “is evident all around us.”

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

1 dead, 2 injured in Lakeland crash

Thumbnail for the video titled "1 dead, 2 injured in Lakeland crash"

Monday Morning Forecast

Thumbnail for the video titled "Monday Morning Forecast"

Two cruise ships with Floridians board stuck at sea with deceased and sick passengers

Thumbnail for the video titled "Two cruise ships with Floridians board stuck at sea with deceased and sick passengers"

Gov. DeSantis addresses cruise ships looking to dock in Florida

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gov. DeSantis addresses cruise ships looking to dock in Florida"

Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships

Thumbnail for the video titled "Trump says he will speak with DeSantis about cruise ships"

What money is out there for struggling small businesses?

Thumbnail for the video titled "What money is out there for struggling small businesses?"

Coronavirus test results delayed up to 14 days in Florida

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus test results delayed up to 14 days in Florida"

Better Call Behnken helps Port Richey woman get assurance her power won't be disconnected

Thumbnail for the video titled "Better Call Behnken helps Port Richey woman get assurance her power won't be disconnected"

strike teams answer coronavirus calls

Thumbnail for the video titled "strike teams answer coronavirus calls"

a Clearwater businessman is switching his focus from producing water heaters to producing face masks

Thumbnail for the video titled "a Clearwater businessman is switching his focus from producing water heaters to producing face masks"

Westchase woman delivers pizzas to local hospitals

Thumbnail for the video titled "Westchase woman delivers pizzas to local hospitals"

Coronavirus cases in Florida surge past 6,300

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus cases in Florida surge past 6,300"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss