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Monday, September 26, 2022

UF’s College of Law namesake has died after contracting COVID-19

He died Tuesday afternoon at the age of 83

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UF alumnus Fred Levin died Tuesday afternoon of COVID-19 complications at the age of 83.

After graduating from the University of Florida College of Law, Levin became a practicing attorney in Pensacola in 1961. UF renamed its law school in 1999 to Fredric G. Levin College of Law after Levin made a $10 million contribution to the school the previous year. At the time his donation was the largest cash gift the university had received. 

Levin Papantonio Rafferty, a law firm started by Levin's brother, announced his death on Facebook Tuesday evening citing COVID-19 complications.

Levin was known as one of the nation’s top trial attorneys, with his most notable victory being the lawsuit against Big Tobacco, the Pensacola News Journal reported. The $13 billion settlement was reached after the statute to Florida’s Medicaid law that previously allowed it to repossess funds used for treating lung cancer was changed. 

Levin had philanthropic interests outside of his success as an attorney and donated over $35 million dollars to nonprofits and universities during his life. He beat lung cancer after being diagnosed in 2016, but it led to a decline in his overall health. 

In 2019, Levin donated $6 million to the UF Law School for the 20 year anniversary of the college’s renaming in his honor, bringing the Levin family’s total contributions to more than $20 million.

The nationally acclaimed attorney leaves behind a lasting legacy as his impactful work is felt by communities throughout Florida and the rest of the country.

Contact Abigail Hasebroock at Follow her on Twitter @abbeyhasebroock.

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Abigail Hasebroock

Abigail is a second-year journalism major covering university general assignment news for The Alligator. When she’s not catching up on school or reporting, she’s spending time outside, reading or reorganizing her Spotify playlists - usually all at the same time. 

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