In 1986, Roy Merrill Speer established the Roy M. Speer Foundation from the proceeds of an entrepreneurial business enterprise called the Home Shopping Network: The giant cable network that forever changed the way the world viewed retail shopping.
Born in 1932 in Key West, Florida, Roy was an industrious and ambitious boy who earned spending money by selling newspapers and shining the shoes of naval personnel stationed at the Key West naval base.
After receiving a medical discharge from the Army in 1953 and with the assistance of a G.I. Bill, he attended Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, where he earned his L. B., Bachelor of Law degree.
Roy’s early legal career included working as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida, assistant trial staff counsel of the U.S. Labor Relations Board, and later chief lobbyist for the City of St Petersburg and Assistant State Attorney for Pinellas County.
Known for his aggressive, confident, and open-minded personality, Roy was not content to focus only on a legal career. Roy expanded into real estate development and a multitude of other ventures ranging from growing vegetables in Puerto Rico, owning a hotel in the Bahamas, a warehouse complex in Las Vegas, and an oil and gas drilling operation in Texas. But, the biggest and most significant impact on his overall business career happened in 1982 when he co-founded Home Shopping Network.
With his financial prosperity, Roy established the Roy M. Speer Foundation in 1986 primarily to provide support to charitable, religious, scientific, literary and educational organizations. He believed in giving back to his community.
After his death in 2012, the Speer family has continued his philanthropic legacy through contributions from the Speer Foundation.
The Speer Foundation was established by the family members in 2016 as a Christian based, closely held private foundation giving benevolently to many charitable causes and organizations that honor Jesus Christ and serve humanity. The Speer family is committed to making a meaningful, lasting contribution to the local community.