Rex E. Lee graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1963. He clerked for Byron White, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and worked as a partner in a Phoenix law firm. He served as Assistant Attorney General from 1975 to 1976 and then Solicitor General of the United States from 1981 to 1985. As Solicitor General, he argued many cases in the United States Supreme Court. By his death on March 11, 1996, he had argued nearly 60 cases. He was the first dean of the BYU Law School and helped recruit many of the original faculty members. He also served as president of BYU from 1989 to 1995. He left two months before his death from cancer. An annual race is held in his honor each year at BYU to raise money for cancer research.