This June, news broke that Lee Klein, a crusader seeking to help children with cancer, passed away back in May.
A cause of death was undisclosed, but she was confirmed to have passed on 29 May 2022.
As tributes to Lee Klein flood the internet, The Focus takes a look back over the incredible life and career Klein led.
Who was Lee Klein?
Lenore “Lee” Klein was a former model turned businesswoman and cancer advocate based in South Florida. Born and raised in New York, Klein would later move to Miami Beach, Florida after her marriage to Norman Klein.
In her Today show profile, Willie Geist explains that her age was a “closely guarded secret.” However, it is thought that Lee Klein was born in 1924, as reported in one obituary, which states she was 97 years old at the time of her passing. Klein was the daughter of Vera and Samuel Noble. The couple also had two other daughters named Carol and Eunice, as reported in Lee Klein’s obituary.
Lee Klein was based in Aventura, Florida at the time of her death. She is survived by her daughter Mindy Gould, as well as many nieces and a grandchild named Harley.
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Lee Klein founds the Children’s Cancer Caring Center
In 1965, Lee Klein founded The Deed Club in Miami Beach, Florida. She founded the club alongside a group of local women, with the intention of providing free pediatric cancer treatment. Klein was behind the fundraising to keep The Deed Club in operation.
Eventually, The Deed Club was renamed The Children’s Cancer Caring Center, a name it retains to this day. Klein served as president and continued her work in making cancer treatment accessible for children.
Throughout her work, Klein raised millions of dollars for the cancer center, making treatment accessible to many children throughout Florida. She took no salary whilst working for the center, dedicating all her time to the cause she was most passionate about.
Lee Klein won numerous awards and accolades over her seven-decade career. Some of these include the National Jefferson Award in the category of Greatest Public Service; the President Volunteer Action Award presented in Washington, DC; the Real Women Real Lives Spotlight Award; the Miracle Makers Award; Woman of the Year Award which was written into the Congressional Records in Washington.
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Klein’s legacy lives on as news of her death breaks
As news of Lee Klein’s passing circulates, many have taken to sharing their memories of Klein online.
The Live Like Bella foundation penned a tribute to their friend, Lee Klein: “Those who had the privilege to know Lee were touched by her contagious smile the moment they met her. She was a selfless woman of faith with a servant’s heart that will forever be remembered.”
Willie Geist of the Today show pays tribute to the late Lee Klein on 12 June 2022, in a segment on the morning show. In this segment, Geist described Klein as a “beloved cancer crusader.”