Since its discovery, the STAT3 transcription factor has been extensively studied for its function as a transcriptional regulator and its role as a mediator of development, normal physiology, and pathology of many diseases, including cancers. These efforts have uncovered an array of genes that can be positively and negatively regulated by STAT3, alone and in cooperation with other transcription factors. Through regulating gene expression, STAT3 has been demonstrated to play a pivotal role in many cellular processes including oncogenesis, tumor growth and progression, and stemness. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that STAT3 may behave as a tumor suppressor by activating expression of genes known to inhibit tumorigenesis. Additional evidence suggested that STAT3 may elicit opposing effects depending on cellular context and tumor types. These mixed results signify the need for a deeper understanding of STAT3, including its upstream regulators, parallel transcription co-regulators, and downstream target genes. To help facilitate fulfilling this unmet need, this review will be primarily focused on STAT3 downstream target genes that have been validated to associate with tumorigenesis and/or malignant biology of human cancers.