Dr Patricia Moberly, who chaired the trust that runs Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals for more than a decade, has died after a long illness, aged 77.
Patricia Moberly was best known for her 12-year stint as chairman of the trust that runs SE1's NHS hospitals.
Her tenure as chair between 1999 and 2011 included the creation of Guy's and St Thomas' as one of the first wave of foundation trusts in 2004.
When the future of the London Eye was under threat in 2005, she was the face of a campaign to save the South Bank observation wheel.
The citation for her honorary doctorate – read by the then vice-chancellor Prof Deian Hopkin – said: "Dr Moberly has made a formidable contribution to health management and medical ethics, but also to education, and throughout her career, to the cause of anti-racism."
Her contribution to public life stretched well beyond Guy's and St Thomas', serving as a Lambeth Labour councillor in Prince's ward for seven years and as a magistrate in Westminster.
With her husband Revd Richard Moberly she lived and worked as a teacher in Zambia before his appointment as vicar of Kennington in 1967 brought the couple to Lambeth.
In Zambia her association with exiled ANC leaders resulted in her being invited many years later to the installation of South African president Nelson Mandela.
Back in London she became a member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement's national executive.
She was once arrested in Downing Street during an anti-apartheid protest but was later acquitted of threatening behaviour.
Her teaching career included a stint as head of sixth form at Pimlico School.
Sir Hugh Taylor, who took over as chair of Guy's and St Thomas' in 2011, said: "Patricia Moberly's contribution to Guy's and St Thomas' will be long remembered by all those who work here, as well as by those who have benefited from the services we provide.
"Patricia was an outstanding board chairman; forthright in her commitment to the NHS and to public service; and an active champion of patients and the role of the trust in serving its local community.
"She was emphatic in her focus on promoting the cause of equality and diversity within the trust, as well as in supporting a strong commitment to academic excellence.
"Patricia took a close personal interest in all areas at the trust, including those that attract the least attention. She was known personally to many staff at all levels of the organisation and will be hugely missed."
After stepping down from Guy's and St Thomas', in 2012 she was appointed by David Cameron to the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
• Further tributes to Dr Moberly are likely to be paid at the Guy's and St Thomas' Annual Public Meeting next week.