Florida State President John Thrasher said in a statement that D'Alemberte died Monday.
"He was a person of great integrity with an abiding sense of social justice who made a difference in people's lives here and around the world through his defense of the First Amendment and advocacy of human rights," Thrasher said.
The Tampa Bay Times reported D'Alemberte collapsed at a rest stop during a return trip from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville where he recently underwent surgery.
"Florida mourns the loss of Sandy D'Alemberte who leaves a lasting legacy in our state," Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted.
D'Alemberte, a Tallahassee native, served in the U.S. Navy Reserve and graduated from the University of Florida's law school before being elected to the state House of Representatives, representing Miami-Dade County from 1966 to 1972.
He was president of the American Bar Association in the early 1990s, but his impact in Florida legal circles predated that tenure.
In the mid-1970s, D'Alemberte led a successful effort to petition the Florida Supreme Court to allow television coverage of trials, a first in the nation. In 1990, he led another effort to get the state's highest court to clarify that all members of the Florida Bar have a duty to provide legal services to indigents when ordered by a court in what became known as the "D'Alemberte Petition."
D'Alemberte led FSU for almost a decade starting in 1994 after serving as dean of the law school in the 1980s. During his tenure, the university added a medical school and became headquarters of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the largest and highest-powered facility of its type in the world.
D'Alemberte completed the university's first major capital campaign and helped the university acquire the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. He also established FSU's Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, whose lawyers, staff and students have helped victims of trafficking and war crimes around the world.
D'Alemberte is survived by his wife, Patsy; daughter, Gabrielle; and son, Josh.
Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.
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